An Open Letter To Ben Affleck, From A Raging Fanboy

ben affleck batman 1Mr. Affleck,

When I first heard you had been cast as Batman, well, let’s just say I wasn’t quite on board. You know what? I’ll be honest, and I won’t  dance around it: I hated the idea. I was as against the idea of you playing one of my favourite characters as a person could be. I would have preferred that the movie not get made than you play the Dark Knight.

Harsh? Yeah, it really is. But I have a point, bear with me.

It took me a few days thinking about the news, and reading the opinions of those who swore to boycott Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice just because you were attached to the project; people claiming that you already had your chance to play a superhero in Daredevil, and because you royally screwed that up you shouldn’t be given another.

ben-affleck-daredevilBut here’s the thing: I enjoyed Daredevil precisely because of your performance.

That movie wasn’t great, but you gave the best you could with what you had. And that got me thinking – why wasn’t I thrilled about your casting choice? I couldn’t think of a movie I’ve seen that you starred in which you didn’t give an engaging performance (even if I really didn’t like some of the characters). In all of the films directed by Kevin Smith (aside from Jersey Girl, apparently, but I haven’t seen that), you were fantastic – even if the characters were sometimes dicks. I can’t honestly say that I really enjoyed almost every movie I have seen you, but you were amazing in The Town. And whens I realized that, I realized that I was optimistic about your role as the Dark Knight.

When the trailers dropped for Batman v Superman, my optimism turned to excitement. At that point I had faith that you’d be a good Batman, because from the snippets I aw you really seemed to get the character. But while I expected you to be good, I also thought that your performance would probably not be the best – and I was okay with that because there have been some great actors playing Batman. Needless to say at this point, I had come around to the idea of you as Batman.

Well I saw Batman v Superman on Thursday night, Mr. Affleck, and I was so bloody wrong. After waiting in line for an hour to get into the theater with my contraband popcorn and coke (there was no way I was paying more than I paid for a ticket to enjoy snacks), I came to a startling revelation: you weren’t a good Batman. Not even close.

ben affleck batman 2You were a bloody great Batman. Hell, you are Batman.

Mr. Affleck, while the movie wasn’t as good as I hoped (I did genuinely enjoy it, though), your performance as Batman is without doubt my favourite onscreen depiction of the iconic character. While the movie itself may not have been brilliant, there were numerous brilliant parts within the two and a half hours that I saw, and chief among them were the moments when you were on screen. Your chemistry with Jeremy Irons gave Batmaniacs a fantastic glimpse at a pair of men who had been working together for decades, the undercurrent of barely suppressed that permeated almost every scene you were in was almost palpable, and your Batman felt dangerous in a way that I really haven’t felt before.

If Batman v Superman isn’t the best movie released this year, then so be it, but it’s still an enjoyable movie that, through no fault of your own, Mr. Affleck, has some less than enjoyable moments that I could have done without and some absolutely fantastic ones that I wanted more of. So I’ll watch the movie again, whether that’s at theater or (legally) at home I don’t know.

What I do know for certain is that I am looking forward to seeing you as Bruce Wayne again, and I cannot wait until I see the Batman movie that you’ll be directing. My resignation at the news of your casting was wrong, and I hope that – in the very remote chance you read this – you know that I’m not the only fanboy eating their hate right now. They may not admit it,  not publicly, and certainly not as loudly as they complained about your casting, but they’re spreading ketchup on their hats right now.

batman glowing eyes.jpgDon’t lose heart at the mixed reviews the movie is getting, because some of us really enjoyed it; not everyone,obviously, but some of us. But nobody who saw the movie can lay any of the blame for the mixed reviews at your feet.

Your portrayal of Batman is going to be on the top of many people’s lists in the next five years, because it’s that damn good. You are the goddamn Batman.


A Formerly Enraged Fanboy.


This previously ran on Graphic Policy


3 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Ben Affleck, From A Raging Fanboy

  1. Applause!
    Seriously and honestly, I’m not making fun of you! 🙂

    I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can comment neither on the movie’s quality nor Ben Affleck’s performance. BUT:

    I can sincerely applaud the maturity you’ve shown in this post, a maturity I miss among most fanboys (yes, fan-BOYS since fangirls seem to be less hostile for the most part 😉 )

    Point is in the weeks and months before the movie came out I encountered a lot of what was literally open hate towards the casting of Ben Affleck from the fans. I have to be honest enough to include myself to some degree. I didn’t despise the choice but I was wary of said casting choice.

    Not necessarily because of Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Daredevil or his qualities as an actor in general. I’m a chemistry person, I’ll admit that. I need to feel a certain “like”, a certain chemistry towards an actor to enjoy their work, no matter the eventual greatness of their performance.. And with Ben Affleck I simply never clicked.

    Okay, back to what I was saying. Even though I mostly stay away from discussions about a movie I want to see – I also dodge reviews as much as possible since I want to go into a movie or TV show as open and as “unaware” or anything as possible – I still couldn’t avoid hateful comments everywhere the topic came up.

    Now, I get that fans are sometimes extraordinarily invested and can get riled up rather easily, something that doesn’t surprise me, I was indeed pretty surprised at the magnitude of the negative comments.It’s still common. Star Trek, Star Wars, comic book movies, Game of Thrones, … whatever you pick that has a huge fanbase there’ll always be countless opinions and a lot of hate towards … well, anything basically. 🙂

    Still not the point, though. What I’m getting at is that you managed to pull of something I see so very rarely it felt important to applaud you for it: Not just did you change your mind after having seen the actual movie, no! You actually had the integrity and the maturity to openly say that, too.

    I’m very proud of you!

    I’m very proud you didn’t just enjoy Ben Affleck’s “in secret” but you also stood up and told everyone that you did. That your previous pre-rage before the movie came out was uncalled for, unjustified and that you were proven wrong.

    I’m not sure Ben Affleck is ever going to get your message but I can imagine he – from what I understand a comic book fan himself – would appreciate more such responses, especially after the shitstorm he had to endure beforehand.

    So if not Ben Affleck … let at least me thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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