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Take no notice, Hollywood: The fans don’t know best

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The reaction to Batfleck and HunGrey has been overwhelmingly negative. But then, who cares?

Fans really should just learn to shut up. Isn’t anyone else fed up with their incessant whinging and pathetic petitions? The moment anything goes against how they imagined it in their pretty little imaginations, they throw their toys out of the pram and cry about why their ideal choice of actor has been snubbed in favour of another.

Back in 2005, everyone was getting pissy about Daniel Craig being the next Bond

Remember all the way back in 2005 when everyone was getting all pissy about Daniel Craig being the next James Bond? There were websites set up, people threatening to boycott the film, and all because of the scandalous nature of his low levels of brown eumelanin. You’d have thought he’d stabbed a Teletubby or something. Three record-breaking films and a BAFTA nomination later, it’s fair to say those narrow-minded fans have been made to look somewhat foolish in their outrage.

It’s much like the recent hullabaloo surrounding the 50 Shades of Grey casting. Now, I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey (honest), so I suppose it could be a bit hypocritical of me to comment on that specific casting, but the fact is that, as the producers have pointed out, a lot more goes into casting than simply appearances. Appearances don’t dictate how good an actor you are, how well you can portray the character and what your chemistry is like with the other cast. Whilst it’s always preferable to cast an actor who looks as much like the character as possible, it’s very much a secondary issue.

charlie hunnam pacific rim

It’s all slightly amusing at just how shallow and hypocritical these fans are. They claim to love these characters but when all they’re complaining about is how the actor looks, it just shows how superficial they are and how little they care for the actual character. Shouldn’t they be more concerned with how well the actor can convey the spirit of the character rather than whether their facial structure matches the words on the page?

Shouldn’t fans be more concerned with how well the actor can convey the spirit of the character rather than their facial structure?

The thing is, it’s obviously OK for fans to have a preference as to who they want playing their favourite characters – that’s only natural – but it’s when it gets to the embarrassing point where fans are actually making petitions to get a certain actor the role that really grates. Take the recent petition to get Ben Affleck removed as Batman for the Batman vs Superman film. John Roden, the man behind the petition, claims that Affleck’s “acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne,” “he’s not intimidating enough for the role of Batman” and “his portrayal of Daredevil was atrocious and he’s not remotely close to an action star or a superhero.”

Well I agree with one of those criticisms – Daredevil really was shit – but the rest of his points are pretty baseless. Ben Affleck’s done his fair share of bad films, but anyone who’s ever seen Hollywoodland, Argo, The Town and Good Will Hunting will know he is actually quite a good actor. People seem to forget that, before Batman Begins, Christian Bale had been in films like Equilibrium and Reign of Fire. Just because you’ve been in bad films doesn’t make you a bad actor.

Hollywoodland ben affleck

But what’s really infuriating about this petition and most other petitions relating to casting choices is that the fans don’t have a clue what the role will be like. Has anyone read the script for Batman vs Superman? No. So how can they say Affleck’s not suited to the role? Sure, there’s a generic outline for who Batman is, but can you honestly say that Christian Bale would have been a good Batman for Tim Burton’s Batman films? There are different takes on the character, and the one we’ll be seeing in Batman vs Superman is one no-one outside the cast and crew has any idea about.

Fans should stay away from their beloved adaptations for the sake of the film. It’s like why doctors should never treat their relatives

Fans need to stay as far away as possible from their beloved adaptations for the sake of the film. It’s like why doctors should never treat their relatives: you can’t help but treat them differently because you know them so well. You might save them a painful procedure because you don’t want to put them through pain, even though that painful procedure might save their lives. That’s why fans should never have a say on how a movie is made. Not only because most of the time they have no idea about filmmaking, but because they’ll always make the decision that makes them most happy. Even though it’s the wrong one.

People seem to think that just because they’re fans of the material they know what’s best. They don’t, and I for one am glad studios don’t give in to fan pressure. If they did, they’d probably end up with a camel of a film; one where you try to please everyone but end up pleasing no one.

 

Featured image: MGM/Columbia Pictures

Inset images: Warner Bros; Buena Vista International

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