Fans of the Caped Crusader spent their Friday lashing out at the choice of Ben Affleck as Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. The Oscar winning actor has a 71% disapproval rating on Twitter.
There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad Press. Let’s hope that DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers feel that way, because the press they are getting for the casting of Ben Affleck in Man of Steel 2 is not exactly encouraging.
It’s no big surprise that there was a lot of immediate online chatter after Ben Affleck was officially cast as the latest big screen Batman. Within the first hour of the announcement, 96,088 tweets were sent out about Affleck as the new Dark Knight. The casting issue has been averaging 39,225 tweets per hour, for a total of 509,922 tweets over a 12 hour period. However, the buzz being generated may not be the kind that Warner Bros. or DC Entertainment were hoping for.
71% of the Twitter chatter was negative, with only 15% being positive and 14% mixed regarding the casting issue. And Twitter was not the only place where Affleck took a beating. An online poll conducted by Variety recorded similar results, with 77.21% of the 86,627 people who responded saying they don’t think Affleck is the right choice to play the hero of Gotham City.
Fans have also launched a Change.org petition urging Warner Bros. to "Remove Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Superman/Batman movie." The petition has gotten more than 7,000 signatures since it started.
The negative buzz was accompanied by a lot of jokes, such as Matt Damon being cast as Robin. This is not an auspicious start for a project that had been greatly anticipated until the announcement.
Some of the more amusing responses include…
“In the Ben Affleck version, Batman's parents kill themselves.”
“Really looking forward to seeing Affleck bring the depth and gravitas to Batman that he brought to Gigli.”
“Ben Affleck already butchered the Daredevil movie and now he's been cast as Batman??? Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
“Mr. Candidate, if elected, will you stop Ben Affleck from playing Batman?”
“You spend ten years working your way back into everyone's good graces. Win an Oscar. Then you get cast as Batman, and BAM! You're Gigli again.”
“I've just seen Christian Bale going to Affleck's apartment with some Huey Lewis records and an axe.”
“I don't think the producers really wanted to sign Ben Affleck to play the next Batman. I think they were trying to contact the Aflac duck.”
“Affleck is the next Batman? I hope the villain in that movie wins.”
“As a dad, I have to go to all the big superhero movies. Ben Affleck's casting has actually made me love my children less.”
“For those wondering why Ben Affleck would agree to be in this movie, I have the answer. my 10-year-old just asked: who's Ben Affleck?”
“Wait Ben Affleck gets to be in 2 comic book movies? And he's won two Academy Awards! And he's dated two Jennifers! HE MUST BE TWO-FACE!”
“Come Back Val Kilmer All Is Forgiven!”
“Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne? RT if you don't want to live on this planet anymore.”
"A Wonder Woman movie would be too big a financial risk! We've decided to go with a proven moneymaker: A Ben Affleck superhero movie!"
“Ben Affleck officially cast as Batman in the Man of Steel sequel. For the first time in history, I kind of want Superman to win.”
Actor Richard Dreyfuss wrote, “You read for a part, you feel good about it, you feel confident, then they cast Ben Affleck.”
Of course, a negative outcry doesn’t necessarily mean that Affleck’s presence will ruin the movie’s chances. Fans will recall the overwhelmingly negative backlash against Michael Keaton when he was cast by Tim Burton in the 1989 version. Similarly, many people were against Daniel Craig as James Bond when he was cast in Casino Royale.
We’ll have to wait and see how DC and Warner Brothers react to the bad buzz and how they’ll spin it.