Casting Doubts: Batman

Last Friday, the world awoke to the news that Ben Affleck will be the new cinematic incarnation of Batman. This was to largely inglorious and negative  backlash. I’ll be the first to admit I am not Affleck’s greatest fan (plus he is a better director than actor). Does anybody remember what happened last time he played a super-hero in Dare Devil? Yet despite this, I am still going to give him a fair chance.

WidescreenBatman2

There is no doubt that this is not who I would have picked for the role. But then neither was Matt Smith as The Doctor. Neither was Daniel Craig as James Bond. And look how those turned out. Even in Batman’s own Universe –  both Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger were derided at the start. Poor old George Clooney frequently goes on record and beats himself up over the Batman and Robin saga. Again he wasn’t a casting choice I would have made, but the problems with that movie shouldn’t be attributed to Clooney (in fact I would even argue he was one of the better things about the whole sorry film). Sometimes going with an unsafe choice is interesting, especially if the actor has something to prove.

I suspect if anything the success with this new Superman vs Batman project will hinge on having a decent script. If I am honest, the story concept is the thing I have the biggest issue with right now (although this might ultimately prove unfounded). Benefit of the doubt! One of the more intriguing questions for me is whether Hans Zimmer will return and mix in some of his Dark Knight motifs to the Man of Steel. That could be interesting.

For me, the work of Danny Elfman (and to a lesser degree the largely underappreciated work of Elliot Goldenthal) take me to the heroic swirling gothic world of the Batman comics. I find Hans Zimmer’s Batman music mostly generic which could be used in almost any action film (even if it does fit the “everyday” tone of Nolan’s films). This said there is one theme he composed which never fails to rouse me. Last night, I decided to take the keyboard and create my very own take on that theme. This was great fun to make and the part just after the minute mark is the rousing bit I refer to:

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