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John Trumbull on Ben Affleck as Batman

The Line it is Drawn’s John Trumbull whipped up the following piece after the news hit about Ben Affleck playing Batman in the upcoming Batman/Superman film.


Got to say, “Hollywoodland” is actually phenomenal.

Yeah yeah yeah, we get it. But come on, let’s give the guy a chance. He’s come a long way since Daredevil and Jersey Girl.

He’s a talented actor. I’m much more likely to scrutinize the screenwriters with this one.

Hollywoodland shouldn’t be included in a montage about having doubts. That portrayal was flat out great.

No. This is what’s wrong with DC movies. Marvel gets the RIGHT actor to play Iron Man. Marvel gets the RIGHT actor to play Thor. Marvel did okay casting all the other Avengers (except Captain America).

Who does DC/Hollywood get to play Batman? Ben Affleck? Haven’t they learned anything from previous Batman casting mistakes? Tom Burton? Val Kilmer? George Clooney? (Christian Bale was okay, except for the Darth Vader asthma voice on Batman.)

Holy Moley, Batman! Where do they find all these smarmy actors?

“Marvel did okay casting all the other Avengers (except Captain America).”

Chris Evans did a great job with that role. They could have done much worse.

If by “Tom Burton,” you mean “Tim Burton,” then you point is invalid. Those movies were great!

It’s so cool to rip on DC for casting Ben Affleck, but I mean, really, it’s one of the safest bets. When you’re dealing with a movie that costs so many dollars, you want a hefty return on that risky investment. Like, when will we as a community of nerds learn that the almighty dollar is what motivates these decisions, not artistic integrity or whatever idealistic nonsense we believe. Welcome to the 21st century

The problem for Warner/DC is that they make the character fit the actor instead of looking for an actor to fit the character.

Everyone needs to get a grip.

Leaving aside his writing/directing/producing career, has Ben Affleck given a poor acting performance in the last five years? If not, maybe everyone should shut the hell up and wait for the movie to come out before they judge his casting

John Trumbull has totally screwed up any lame attempt at being humorous by adding Ben Affleck’s amazing performance in Hollywoodland. I just watched it again last night and Affleck put in an amazing performance.

As for “fans” complaining about his Daredevil performance – what’s the criticism? He wasn’t wooden at all. I thought he was fine. Nothing groundbreaking, but a credible performance. Maybe it wasn’t the Matt Murdock/ Daredevil from the comics but it was OK.

I’ve never understood how fanboys can call out Affleck for not being true to the Daredevil character, but wet themselves over Downey Jnr’s Iron Man which bears absolutely no resemblance to the Tony Stark/ Iron Man character AT ALL!! It’s not Stark, it’s RDJ multiplied by 10.

Double standards

@ rov124

Like Marvel Studios did any better making Downey Jnr stay true to Tony Stark? He’s playing himself, not Iron Man. And Nick Fury is just another generic Samuel Jackson parody of himself. His characterisation is no different to his character on Shaft and Snakes on a Plane. Hey look, it’s Don Cheadle playing Don Cheadle again.

Don’t even get me started on their depictions of the Mandarin, Whiplash, and Justin Hammer (another character changed to suit the actor’s personality.)

Then let’s start talking about the incredibly disappointing Captain America movie which seemed to rewrite history and forget that the character came to prominence fighting NAZIS and not Hydra.

IMO Warners have always tried to represent their characters faithfully. Marvel Studios has to a point, but the fact that they have usually used established and known actors in their films have altered the characters significantly.

John Trumbull’s most significant moment in his career is drawing the coloring books Batman: Swinging Into Action, Superman: Jailbreak! and Krypto the Superdog: Test Pilot Puppy.

Somehow I think that Ben Affleck, millionaire, married to Jennifer Garner, and a multiple Academy Award winning creator, couldn’t give a shit about some guy who (judging from that computer graphic) is as talented as your average 12 yr old with a laptop.

Snap John – you really showed Ben up with that one!!

I don’t get why people keep going back to a few bad movie he was in t build their case against him playing Batman. Plus i keep reading, from friends and web site and such, about the fact that he was in Mallrats and chasing amy like the fact that played those characters some how excludes him from playing Batman. Christian Bale was in American Psycho and Newsies! for god sakes If a guy who was in NEWSIES can play Batman then guess what the guy who once played DAREDEVIL can play Batman.

Before this came out was anybody thinking “Ben Affleck should replace Christian Bale as Batman”? Let’s face it, this was not an obvious choice. And folks are right to be skeptical about it. On the other hand, as my broker likes to tell me, past performance is not an indicator of future performance, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that The Benman is going to stink and we may all be pleasantly surprised. (But I’m not laying odds just yet). As someone else pointed out, a lot is going to depend on the script/plot.

On another note, who would be your top choice(s) instead of Affleck?

“Then let’s start talking about the incredibly disappointing Captain America movie which seemed to rewrite history and forget that the character came to prominence fighting NAZIS and not Hydra.”

He fought Nazis and Hydra in the movie.

I’m not sure what history they could rewrite. There was no established history of Cap in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a different character than the one in comics, cartoons, or the previous films.

@ Rich

I can’t recall Cap fighting any Nazis in that film. There were three Nazis killed by the Red Skull, but I can’t recall any scenes involving Cap actually fighting German soldiers. And saying that the Hydra agents were all Germans is a cop-out. They even covered their faces and altered the costumes from anything even resembling a German uniform, making it look like Cap was fighting robots. It was terrible.

Marvel did rewrite history because they took out all the relevance Cap had as a character by whitewashing the horror of WW2 by replacing it with dopey Hydra agents and lasers. They took the easy, non-controversial approach that wouldn’t offend anyone or damage their chances of making box office revenue in Germany etc. Cap’s origins are heavily based on his desire/ need to take up arms against Hitler and the German army. That was thrown away, and the result was that Captain America was a watered down version of the original character. He might as well have been called Captain “whatever” than America.

At least Fox studios, with the X-Men films, have never shied away from retaining the scenes of the Concentration Camps in Magneto’s origins, especially in the last film. It was a powerful motivator for that character.

You and me both, good sir. You and me both.

RE: Jimmy – YES! Damn you John for having a sense of humor and doing what plenty others are doing online.
Who do you think you are with your career accomplishments that vastly exceed Jimmy’s? Can’t you see the pain that you’re causing others by publishing a graphic online that someone has to choose to view by their own action of clicking the link? What right have you to use mass communication to say anything? The nerve. Come back when you do something Jimmy approves of.

It’s so cool to rip on DC for casting Ben Affleck, but I mean, really, it’s one of the safest bets. When you’re dealing with a movie that costs so many dollars, you want a hefty return on that risky investment. Like, when will we as a community of nerds learn that the almighty dollar is what motivates these decisions, not artistic integrity or whatever idealistic nonsense we believe. Welcome to the 21st century

I would buy this argument if the Marvel cinematic universe didn’t do such a good job at balancing both the artistic integrity interest and the almighty dollar interest.

IMO Warners have always tried to represent their characters faithfully.

I was actually buying your argument about how Marvel isn’t loyal to the source material. Then I got to this sentence. Come on man! As bad as Marvel is with sticking to the source material in live action, Warner is still far, far worse. The Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel? Way further from the source material than any of Marvel’s movies. And if you start getting into live action TV like Smallville, Birds of Prey, Arrow, and the botched Wonder Woman pilot the track record gets worse.

I agree with your points on how Marvel isn’t as loyal to the source material as everyone pretends, but to then turn around and say that DC is?

Everyone keeps bringing up what a good actor is, but the role is Batman so it doesn’t need that much depth and the screenwriter is David Goyer, so it will be another ham-fisted and cliche-filled reworking of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. How much acting skill do you need?

My problem with Afflect in the past was his physical credibility. He just didn’t pull off action scenes well to me. Seeing the shape of his body in The Town gives me hope he can look muscular enough, especially if he hooks up with Cavill’s trainer, the same guy who also worked with the cast of 300. The other problem I had with him is his onscreen fight scene skills. I found him really awkward-looking in Daredevil, to a point where all the quick cuts and wirework in the world couldn’t help cover it up. Jennifer Garner and Colin Farrell pulled off their fight scenes far better I thought. If he can improve on that aspect I’ll be very impressed.

But as far as acting goes, he’s actually overqualified if anything.

There are valid reasons for Cap not fighting “Nazis” – not offending overseas audiences (especially Germans), and also adding to MCU mythos and science fiction-y aspect of the world.

That and do you really want to do an Indiana Jones knockoff? You know that’s what fans would’ve called it.

Everything was wrong with “Daredevil” with the sole exception of Ben Affleck and nobody could have saved that movie. And his performance in “Hollywoodland”, an excellent film, was perfect. Seriously — this is all you got?

Is there anything left of the horse?

I just don’t want him to smirk. That’s all I ask.

i think all the negative press is actually going to help Affleck. I remember when Bale was announced we were alll super ecstatic. When the movie came out he played Batman with a voice that sounded like a serial rapist Cookie Monster. Meanwhile Anne Hathaway was proclaimed as a terrible choice to play Catwoman, and was bashed all over the net. By the time the movie came around, expectations were so lowered that people saw her perfectly serviceable but utterly unremarkable performance, people were raving how she was the best Catwoman ever and that she stole the movie.

I predict same will happen with Affleck.

@ Hysan

Heaven forbid we offend any Germans out there! Let’s just pretend nothing happened all those years ago. For the sake of our superhero movie.

Short n sweet: Ben CANNOT play anyother than daredevil unless they killed him. Yeah Captain America stole from the fantastic 4 unless they are killing johnny in the next one. Edward norton could never be kltpzyxm (free for 90you days) Hulk? Now Matt DAMON CAN! HMM JUST SAYIN. COPYING ADAM WEST NOT GEORGE. DOLPH WAS THE PUNISHER. Ryan sold out for deadpool(died) King in BLADE(not a superhero but comic) definitely 3rd behind? 1.Whistlers daughter … Remember when green lantern black? Jamie fox would be great. Same guy?!. Anyways I know you all knowledgeable comic book people can hear me? Find your perfect superhero cast without out crossing over?

Whoa. That was … intense.

Regardless, Affleck was still the bomb in Phantoms.

Hm. Apparently I hallucinated the parts of the Cap movie where he and Dr. Erskine talked about how bad the Nazis were, or where General Tommy Lee Jones said Steve and the other recruits were going to “personally escort Adolf Hitler to the gates of Hell.” Good to know.

Oh, I also hallucinated the song and dance number that was all about beating up Nazis.

Damn, my hallucinations are awesome.

The Crazed Spruce

August 29, 2013 at 9:16 am

I’m old enough to remember firsthand the uproar when Michael Keaton was cast as Batman in the Burton films, and he turned out to be pretty damn good. So I’m taking a wait-and-see approach.


In the comics there were two well known green lanterns from earth, Hal Jordan and John Stewart. The latter being the black one.

Frankie Addiego

March 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

I don’t want to hurt John Trumbull’s feelings by disagreeing with him like I did on the Back Issue board. So I’ll just say that Affleck didn’t play Superman, but rather the actor who played Superman (George Reeves) and that while he sucked in that role, the picture of him wearing sunglasses and drinking a beer is out of context here.

I also thought he was pretty good as Daredevil. Not great, but good.

When youre a fan of something, you want the best of the best. Affleck is the worst of the worst . Dc is constantly shitting on their fans and i really really wanted an actor who oh i don’t know ….. Is decent . He can’t stage fight , he can’t act and when he is sucessful at it ,it feels really really forced. I think we should just recast the caster.


May 15, 2014 at 8:14 am

Internet Geek Logic: Use an image of Ben Affleck in a movie that got him nominated for Best Supporting Actor as your argument for why he shouldn’t be Batman.

Also, if you hate Daredevil, maybe you should’ve noticed HE didn’t ruin the movie, it’s just a bad movie, plain and simple. Or did you not notice the Elektra spinoff sucked too?

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