Ben Affleck as Batman? PEOPLE's Critic Swoops In on Backlash

Yes, Daredevil stank – but he's matured (and, boy, do we have the right Robin)

Photo: PictureGroup; Warner Bros.

Guess what just popped up in my inbox? A petition to drop Ben Affleck as the next Batman. Really, folks? Everyone adored this double Oscar winner just a few months ago. Now it’s, “Argo blank yourself, Ben?” Let’s just calm down and be little Fonzies about this. After all, this isn’t the first time we’ve collectively freaked out over Batman.

If you’re old enough to remember before most of us had Internet access, recall that there was a hue and cry over the casting of Michael Keaton as the caped crusader, and he ended up delivering a thoughtful, interesting take on the character. Even the news that Heath Ledger was going to wear the Joker’s garish grin on his pretty face was met with much wailing and rending of the garments, but what happened? He snatched that role and turned it into an Oscar-winning tour de force. And Val Kilmer and George Clooney – actually, let me stop there.

But really, what’s so bad about Ben? I know, you’re going to bring up Daredevil. Fine. It was not a good movie. He was not good in it. Admitted. But that was a long time ago and the guy’s matured since then. He may not be the most expressive actor in the world, but guess what? Batman isn’t exactly Mr. Let Me Get in Touch With My Emotions, either. Affleck can do brooding and tortured with a touch of wit as well as the next guy – particularly if the guy he’s standing next to is Henry Cavill.

Which brings me to my next point: You should be far more worried about who’s behind the scenes on Batman vs. Superman, than who’s filling out the cape. There’s no script yet, and the director is Zack Snyder, who gave us the latest incarnation of Superman in Man of Steel, a rewarmed origin story with a Superman who kills. (And I sorta liked the movie.) And what about the eventual Justice League project? It could be Avengers awesome or a superhero Love Boat, Affleck or no Affleck. There’s no way of knowing.

All I’m saying is that it’s way too early to get our Underoos in a bunch over Ben playing Batman, particularly when there are so many other factors that will go into whether the movie’s any good. But you’re right about one thing, Internet: I totally want to see Matt Damon as Robin.

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