August 23, 2013 10:54am PT by Erik Hayden
Ben Affleck as Batman: Negative Backlash on Twitter, Petition Launched to Drop Actor
Ben Affleck may be the next Batman, but there appears to be a decent sized portion of the internet that wasn't initially enthused about the news.
In the over 96,000 tweets sent in the first hour after the casting announcement was made, 71 percent of that talk was negative, according to social media analytics firm Fizziology. Only 15 percent of the quick takes were positive and 14 percent were deemed to be of mixed sentiment.
Ten percent of the negative conversation mention Affleck's previous turn as a superhero in 2004's Daredevil and 3 percent referenced the actor's infamous box-office bomb Gigli, Fizziology said.
And, as many on Twitter have noticed, there were plenty of jokes about Affleck's co-star in Good Will Hunting being cast as Robin. "19 percent of the mixed chatter came from audiences making jokes about Matt Damon also being cast in the film," the analytics firm found.
Batman fans who were taken aback by the decision have also, inevitably, launched a curt Change.org petition that urges Warner Bros. to "Remove Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne in the Superman/Batman movie." That petition has gathered more than 7,000 signatures since it was started.
Zack Snyder, director of Man of Steel and the forthcoming Batman feature, had praised Affleck in a statement announcing the news: "He 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."
The Batman and Superman film is set to hit theaters on July 17, 2015.