Don’t Bash the Batfleck

Allowing preconceived notions (about Affleck and Eisenberg, lbr) to impact a movie is not only a disservice to yourself, but an insult to the creativity of the film’s creators.

By Jacoby Bancroft, University of Nevada at Reno


Next month, one of two things is bound to happen with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

It’s either going to be a cinematic experience unlike anything the world has seen before, establishing the DC Extended Universe as a force to be reckoned with, and ushering in a new era of successful, gritty superhero films. Or it’s going to flop. Big time.

Whatever the outcome, all the hype surrounding Batman v Superman: Batman Kicks Superman’s Ass brings me back to a few years ago, when the internet officially broke over the announcement that Ben Affleck would be taking over as Batman. People rioted, governments collapsed and I’m pretty sure my roommate ate my last pudding cup. It was a dark time.

I didn’t understand all the outrage. Sure, Ben Affleck had on more than one occasion expressed as much acting range as a boiled potato, but that doesn’t mean overall the guy wasn’t talented. I was positive Zack Snyder and the studio heads wouldn’t have picked him over the likes of Josh Brolin and Richard Armitage if he wasn’t perfect for the role.

I calmly set out to inform my friends and random people on the internet that they were being too quick to judge.

They hadn’t seen anything regarding the movie, yet they were already calling it a failure because of Ben Affleck. I told them we live in a society where we should really wait to criticize a movie until after we’ve actually seen it.

Ben Affleck could absolutely rock the role, but because people were biased against the actor and had preconceived notions about how Batman should act, they were already writing off the movie. I felt like a champion for justice, a beacon of fairness.

Then Jesse Eisenberg was announced as the new Lex Luthor and I lost my freaking mind.

I became everything I hated. I went on a crusade against the movie because Eisenberg was nowhere near how I envisioned Lex Luthor. I felt like the movie was actively trying to make me mad by casting the scrawny, squirrely Eisenberg as one of the most imposing DC villains of all time. It all had to be one sick joke.

I still haven’t gotten over my hurt feelings, but I’ve calmed down considerably. I no longer want to boycott the movie and picket the premiere with large, handwritten signs and a bullhorn, but I almost let my anger influence the entire movie-watching experience.

As viewers we need to keep open minds, especially for movies as important as Batman v Superman: Superheroes Never Smile. We might have an idea in our heads about what certain characters should be like, but before we see it, all we have is speculation.

So please, do me a favor and don’t bash Affleck and Eisenberg until after the movie comes out. Yes, all our fears might come true and the two might do horribly in the roles, but before we have hard evidence, it just ends up hurting the film unnecessarily.