Patton Oswalt is a an actor and comedian. For all intents and purposes, he's also guardian of all that the Internet holds sacred. Sure, he's widely known for his Star Wars filibuster and his appearances on The King of Queens and Reno! 911, but Oswalt is bright, hilarious, in-touch with what's happening on the Internet, and very vocal on social media sites.
As such, his opinion seems to hold sway on the boards (that's what the kids are saying, right?). Recently, Oswalt authored a post in which he defends the decision to make Ben Affleck the next Batman (he'll appear alongside Henry Cavill's Superman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel). When reports first surfaced that Affleck would be taking over Christian Bale's duty as The Dark Knight, the Internet errupted with fervor and a litany of Daredevil jokes, but Oswalt argues that, perhaps more than anyone in Hollywood, Affleck embodies the best version of Batman.
No matter how many times you post your stupid "Fire Ben Affleck from Playing Batman" petition, I'm going to delete it and block you. Take a deep breath, and think for a second:
Yeah, the dude's made some bad films. Every actor has. Every actor does. Every actor will. It's a huge, arcing career and NO ONE has control over where it goes. Movie to movie, year to year, you're collaborating and trying and risking and, sometimes, yes — failing.
Plus, everyone seems to forget that he had the world dropped in his lap when he was YOUNG. And, judging by how other suddenly-famous youngsters do in the same situation, he fared pretty well. Even when it went wrong, he seemed to keep a self-deprecating, long-view philosophy about the burning freak carousel he'd found himself on.
And then what happened? I mean, he'd fallen from a HEIGHT. You know what happens to 95% of people who weather a descent that steep? They come apart, fray at all of their sanity nodes, and give up.
But then there's the 5% who embrace crushing defeat and see it for the gift it is. And here's the gift: when you fail, and fail UTTERLY, you wake up the next morning and see that the world didn't end. And then the fear of failure is gone. And you're free. You're free to proceed on your own terms and pace — if you have the ego that permits you to.
Ben brushed himself off, realized he'd kept his eyes open on the movies he'd done, and started directing. And he's become a damn good one.
A Batman portrayed by someone who's tasted humiliation and a reversal of all personal valences — kind of like Grant Morrison's "Zen warrior" version of Batman, post-ARKHAM ASYLUM, who was, in the words of Superman, "…the most dangerous man on the planet"? Think for a second and admit that Ben Affleck is closer to THAT top-shelf iteration of The Dark Knight than pretty much anyone in Hollywood right now.
I'd write more, but I have to go work on my post about how an overweight 44 year-old comedian with bad feet and insomnia would be a bold choice for The Joker. [h/t Uproxx]