By Christy Strawser
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) He’s tall, dark and — well, he’s definitely tall and has dark hair and once played the real-life role of Jennifer Lopez’s man candy.
But is Ben Affleck man enough to play “Batman?”
Controversy erupted across social media networks when Warner Bros. announced Thursday the 41-year-old Affleck will star in the newest version of the Dark Knight, a movie that promises to bring Batman and Superman together.
And then this happened: Two petitions started, one on change.org and another in the “We the People” section of the White House website.
The change.org petition is aimed at Warner Bros.; the White House petition asked the Obama administration to “denounce the selection of Ben Affleck” and recast the role of Batman.
According to CBS DC, the creator of the White House petition, a Westland, Mich., man believes “there are more serious matters that need to be addressed in our country but fans/citizens are outraged at the selection and we want to send a message to Warner Brothers, DC Comics, and Zack Snyder using an outlet that could garner the appropriate media attention to do so.”
The petition was quickly removed from the White House website, with a message that it violated the terms of service.
But the change.org petition is alive, and it’s in the form of a letter to Warner Bros. asking for Affleck’s removal. More than 2,500 people had already signed it a few hours after the announcement of Affleck’s casting.
“His acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won’t do the role justice. He’s not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman. His portrayal of Daredevil was atrocious and he’s not remotely close to an action star. Please find someone else,” the petition says.
Supporters poured in with comments ranging from the short and sweet: “Ben Affleck sucks,” — to more in-depth evisceration.
John Sands of Edmond, Ok., wrote, “Batman is serious, tragic, dark and commanding. Even Superman does what Batman says. Ben Affleck absolutely cannot come across as believable in such a role. You will bring Batman to a terrible place requiring someone to come behind you and clean up your mess.
“I’m a diehard fan but will in no way pay to watch this film. Shame for letting us all down. You need Bale or some new actor that hasn’t been over exposed. Ben Affleck is not believable in anything because of all the exposure he is more of a reality star now.”
CBS News reported the Superman/Batman face-off was first revealed by director Zack Snyder at last month’s Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Snyder, who will direct the sequel written by “Man of Steel” screenwriter David S. Goyer, said in a statement that Affleck will provide an “interesting counter-balance” to Cavill’s Clark Kent.
“(Affleck) has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne,” said Snyder. “I can’t wait to work with him.”
Production on the as-yet-untitled film is expected to begin in 2014 for release July 17, 2015.