Batman casting: Josh Brolin ready for Ben Affleck as caped crusader

Dec. 12, 2013 | 3:16 p.m.
Josh Brolin, left, and Ben Affleck. ((Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Josh Brolin, left, and Ben Affleck. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Before Ben Affleck was cast as Batman in Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel featuring Superman, Batman and a recently announced Wonder Woman, actor Josh Brolin had been widely tipped for the role of Gotham City’s caped crusader.

In a new interview over at The Envelope, The Times’ site devoted to all things awards season, the actor talked about his familial connection to the character — his father appeared on the 1960s TV show starring Adam West — and also his surprise at the outpouring of Internet vitriol that greeted the news that Affleck had won the role.

“You read stuff like, ‘I wish Ben Affleck would die,’” Brolin said. “It’s Armageddon because he’s going to play Batman. What’s happening? You can’t listen to any of it. It’s like a kid in a cereal aisle screaming, ‘I want Froot Loops!’ You just let him have his tantrum and scream it out.”

MORE: Gal Gadot cast as Wonder Woman: Comics world reacts

The controversial casting of Affleck for the as yet untitled film, which is set to fly into theaters July 17, 2015, did spark a significant online backlash — the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck began trending on Twitter, with users offering suggestions as to who would make a better choice to play the superhero, who had been so memorably brought to the screen by Christian Bale in filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City trilogy.

But other prominent voices in the genre community expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of seeing Henry Cavill’s Superman squaring off with Affleck’s Batman. “Avengers” filmmaker Joss Whedon, for one, tweeted, “He’s got the chops, he’s got the chin — just needs the material. Affleck & Cavill toe to toe — I’m in.”

Brolin, too, has joined the roster of well wishers. “What I liked was the logline: ‘An older, grizzly Batman …’” the actor told The Envelope. “That was interesting to me. I haven’t seen that… I’ll still watch it to see how grizzled Affleck turns out.”

Click here to read the rest of what Brolin had to say.

– Gina McIntyre | @LATHeroComplex

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