The cape hand-off has happened. Ben Affleck will be the next Batman. He’ll team up with Superman for the sequel of “Man of Steel.” The choice of Affleck sparked a backlash by comic book nerds on the Internet.
“There has been a lot of backlash online. There are a couple petitions to remove Affleck from the film on Change.org,” says Rachel Abrams, who covers the movie biz for Variety. The news got a better reaction from the people who follow the money in Hollywood.
“Good for Warner Brothers for getting Ben Affleck to be a superhero. Because Ben Affleck had said that he’s never going to do it again after he had a horrible experience playing a blind superhero in ‘Daredevil,’” says Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief at The Wrap.com.
As you may recall, there was no “Daredevil” sequel. Did Ben Affleck kill the chances for a “Daredevil” franchise?
“The proof is in the pudding. There hasn’t been a ‘Daredevil’ franchise. So that’s probably fair to say,” says Waxman.
The buzz in Hollywood is that the Batman deal was less about Affleck chasing a paycheck, and more to do with his relationship with Warner Brothers. The studio backed some of his smaller films, like “Argo,” which won an Oscar for Best Picture.
“Ben Affleck now is kind of repaying the studio in some way for that vote of confidence,” says Waxman.
But Rachel Abrams disagrees. “I think he’s going to make a lot of money off this movie. I don’t think he’s doing anyone any favors,” says Abrams.
No word yet on how much Affleck will be paid. But Christian Bale reportedly turned down $50 million to put the cape back on.
Many successful superhero movies have relied on virtually unknown actors. But star power can help the film stand out. Waxman says, “There’s a lot more competition now for superhero movies, because all the major studios are doing that as sort of single diet in the summertime.”
It is possible for a Batman movie to disappoint at the box office. Remember George Clooney is “Batman and Robin”? Keith Simanton is managing editor at the Internet Movie Database, or IMDB. Speaking of “Batman and Robin,” Simanton says, “Domestically, it didn’t make back its budget.”
Even if Affleck is a monumental flop, don’t expect him to kill the franchise. In the last 25 years, globally, the Batman movies have made almost $4 billion.
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