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As the Batman franchise gears up for yet another motion picture reboot, the process of reviving the legacy of the Dark Knight has once more run into the criticism that it seems to have constantly endured since its first major revival in 1989. That stumbling block is, of course, that the public does not feel like the actor that's playing Batman is the first choice they would have went with. For months now, we've seen Ben Affleck take heavy fire from the maddening crowd, and return it in measured fashion. But if the internet masses think they're going to deter Affleck from turning in a proper performance, they're nothing but wrong.
The Sunday Times caught up with the man who will be Bruce Wayne in Zack Snyder's first Justice League run-up film, Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, and he has dug deep to explain why he is the best choice to play Batman. According Affleck, the reason his casting happens to be appropriate for Batman 4.0 is very simple, but also slightly incorrect: the character's natural well of anger.
"For me, anger is so deeply buried and contained that when it does kind of come out, it comes out in stronger bursts. I tend to be respectful, polite, get along, put up with, put up with, put up with... then, when it finally emerges, it's not something I have a ton of control over."
While Ben Affleck certainly isn't the worst choice for this role, and rage is something that is definitely key to the characters of both Bruce Wayne and Batman, it isn't classically the key to nailing the character. In fact, out of context, that quote sounds like it's talking more about The Incredible Hulk more than that of the Caped Crusader. What makes Batman/Bruce Wayne an interesting character to depict is not the fact that he has rage, but the fact that he has such an overriding moral and ethical code in how he deals with criminals, as opposed to the more destructive competition.
Rage definitely plays an important part in how Batman deals his brand of justice on the streets of Gotham, but if you're going to focus on one particular emotion to portray both Batman and Bruce Wayne properly, you'd be better off focusing on his inescapable sorrow. Yes, that sorrow turns to rage, but if that sorrow is phoned in then the rage is going to look severely ridiculous.
Ben Affleck has been handling the internet outrage over his casting rather well, but that doesn't mean he's a shoo in to become everyone's favorite Caped Crusader, especially in his climactic clash with the Man Of Steel, Superman. Thankfully, Affleck does see the flip side of possessing such rage, as he further displayed in his chat with The Sunday Times.
That's a character flaw, I think. I should sit down and say, 'Listen, I just want to let you know what happened there wasn't OK', instead of going, let it go, let it go, let it go ... 'Ah, that's not a big deal', until finally you just pop!"
If Ben Affleck can focus the rage of Batman through the lens of the sorrow that drives Bruce Wayne, then there should be no problem at all with his casting in a role that he feels ready for. Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice will be the true test of whether Affleck was the perfect choice for the role. We'll find out for sure on March 25, 2016.