The New Knight

Megan Chrisler, Features Editor

When I first heard that Batman was going to appear in the next Superman movie, I was stoked. I’m not an expert in the field by any means, but I’ve read “The Dark Knight Returns” and thought it was awesome to see cliché Superman lose to a real human. I’m also a huge fan of Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy. In fact, it was what made me realize that not all superheroes are cliché. But Ben Affleck as Batman? Really?

Let’s all agree that inconsistent casting choices are annoying. Sometimes they can’t be helped, such as in Dumbledore’s case in the Harry Potter films. Perhaps Christian Bale wasn’t willing to sign a contract with Zack Snyder, but there is no evidence that Snyder even approached Bale. “The Dark Knight” series is also a highly popular trilogy, one that is in no way masked by “Man of Steel” and will most likely be affected by Affleck’s performance, or at least compared to it (I would disagree with those who say that the only highly popular thing about Nolan’s films is Heath Ledger’s Joker, which would not be influenced by Affleck’s Batman at all).

In defense of Affleck, however, Bale’s Batman voice was absolutely ridiculous, and audiences will hope that Affleck doesn’t try to mimic it. He has won more film awards than Bale, 42 to 30 (although at least one of Bale’s awards was for his role as Batman). His experience with directing may lend a helping hand to his new role. Affleck is also a more accurate nationality (although Henry Cavill isn’t any more American than Bale, so Snyder apparently isn’t worried about this issue). And, as Sujay Kumar for The Daily Beast has said, “He has the jawline. He doesn’t look bad in spandex. Ben Affleck isn’t the worst thing to happen to Batman.”

On the other hand, Bale has not only been in the popular “The Dark Knight” series, but also “The Prestige” (another Nolan film, even better than Batman), “Empire of the Sun,” “The Fighter” and even did some adaptations of Shakespeare, including “Henry V” and “A
Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Affleck, meanwhile, aside from his award-winning “Argo,” has “Daredevil,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Armageddon” as his claim to fame, the closest thing to Shakespeare being “Shakespeare in Love.” Bale seems like the more serious artist.

Despite my bias for Bale, there is no way I’m missing this movie. It’s Batman vs. Superman after all, and for the first time in cinematic history, as the Hollywood Reporter points out. Perhaps in the end nobody will care who plays who; we go to the movies for the stories, for the experience, and not the people behind the mask anyway.