Some of the most crucial conversations you can have with your kids can be excruciatingly uncomfortable. There’s the one that starts when you’re asked, “Where do babies come from?” Same goes for questions like “Why isn’t my pet bunny moving anymore?” and “Why did I find all my Christmas presents in your bedroom closet?”
But if you think the answers to those inquiries can damage a young mind, just think about what you’ll have to say if and when your tyke asks, “Have they announced who’s going to play Batman in the Man of Steel sequel yet? Also, why you were crying so much last week?”
Granted, members of the age demographic we’re talking about here, for the most part, have no idea who Ben Affleck is. But we remember the puffy-faced, Cambridge-bred yahoo for helping sully the good name of Daredevil, plus roles in dumbass big-budget fiascos like Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, the now infamous clustermuck Gigli, and over-emoting in Kevin Smith movies. We’re so mad about The Bomb in Phantoms playing the The Dark Knight, we’re going to pretend it’ll be the first movie he’s worked on since 2009. We’re delegitimizing the Oscars out of pure spite.
Anyway, sure, most kids don’t know Ben Affleck and don’t care about this, but maybe you’ve sired a precocious, yet fragile and tantrum-prone movie buff who’ll be devastated by the news. Here are some strategies to soften the blow, or avoid it altogether.
MAKE A BIG DEAL ABOUT HOW GREAT BRYAN CRANSTON WILL BE AS LEX LUTHOR
Superficially it’s a painfully obvious choice. But Cranston’s tenure as one of television’s most memorable and hairless villains isn’t the only thing on his resume that suits him to portray Superman’s big bad. An amalgam of Walter White’s low-key, duplicitous, amoral mania and the relentless hyperbole of Malcolm’s Dad could revitalize Luthor – a character who has often been misrepresented as Superman’s comic foil instead of his arch enemy. Where Spacey and Hackman were goofy, Cranston could be scary and insane. Plus he’s worked with Affleck before, albeit on a movie we’re pretending was never made.
But of course, the combined might of Cranston and an A-game Affleck might might fall short of rescuing Batman vs. Superman, because…..
THE MOVIE WILL UNDERWHELM NO MATTER WHO PLAYS BATMAN BECAUSE ZACK SNYDER
Nobody’s saying Zack Snyder can’t direct a killer action sequence or put together a visually stylish film. Well, at least we’re not saying that, because he can absolutely do those things. We also have no idea how he kept getting work, much less a top-shelf directing gig like Man of Steel, after the profound mess that was Sucker Punch. Some people liked 300 and/or Watchmen, others didn’t, but does anything on this guy’s track record really make him worthy of simultaneous stewardship of the two most famous superheroes of all time? In the middle of what’s without question the golden age of superhero movies, no less?
REMIND THEM THAT AFFLECK DID AN OKAY JOB PLAYING BARTLEBY IN DOGMA
Nobody really has any idea how Ben Affleck will play Bruce Wayne. People aren’t necessarily opposed to the idea of Affleck as Batman because they can’t know, or even guess, what that’s going to be. But they’re absolutely opposed to the notion of Holden McNeil as Batman, or Chuckie Sullivan as Batman, or crappy version of Matt Murdock as Batman. But most people liked the idea of Patrick Bateman as Batman when Christian Bale signed on to don the cowl, because we knew that if tasked with pretending to be a rich guy with a dark side, Bale would annihilate. Perhaps Affleck’s affected madness as the fallen angel Bartleby can’t touch Bale’s indelible turn as yuppie serial killer Patrick Bateman. But it was still pretty good affected madness! Plus he’s had almost 15 years since Dogma to get better at acting.
Let us also note that as a lifelong comic book geek, Affleck is bound to take the internet collectively and preemptively vomiting blood on what’s got to be his dream role a little personally. So when he’s skulking around the new Batcave set, he won’t have to fake being pissed off at the world.
IF YOUR KIDS ASK TO SEE BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, INSIST THAT IT DOESN’T EXIST AND TELL THEM TO STOP MAKING THINGS UP
One of the great things about children is how easy they are to manipulate. If you can convince them that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny break into your house to drop presents off every year, you can easily trick your kids into distrusting their own common sense and perceptions. So if you’re really committed to shielding your children from Batffleck, just relentlessly accuse them of imagining Batman vs. Superman, tell them that no such movie exists or will ever exist, and that they’re starting to get too old to lie all the time like this.
IF YOUR CHILDREN DON’T BUY THAT, HAVE A HYSTERICAL FIT AND SCREAM THAT THEY DON’T LOVE YOU ENOUGH
One of the other great thing about children is how easily they can be emotionally bullied and convinced that they’re at fault for things they never had any control over whatsoever. So, if they keep pressing you about seeing Batman vs. Superman, say they’re only maintaining this ridiculous fantasy because they don’t appreciate all you do for them and if they don’t immediately drop the subject once and for all, you’ll sell them into slavery.