Matt Lewis

Ben Affleck to play Batman: Smart move?

APTOPIX 85th Academy Awards - Press Room.JPEG

Talk about a roller coaster. Ben Affleck’s career has been all over the place. There’s a lot of ground between “Chasing Amy” and “Goodwill Hunting” and disasters like “Gigli.” And then, having resurrected his career with highly-acclaimed films like “Gone Baby Gone” (which he directed) and “The Town” and “Argo,” he ought to feel like he has performed a miracle.

That’s what makes his latest decision to play Batman seem odd to me.

In terms of brand management, why would he flirt with anything that could risk his status as a serious actor/auteur, as donning a cape and tights might?

It is unclear whether this will be a brilliant move, or another attempt at career sabotage.

After all, a lot of people spend decades fruitlessly attempting to overcome the stigma of being typecast as a certain kind of actor (granted, most of these people aren’t best friends with Matt Damon), but he seems to have no reservations.

To be sure, Affleck isn’t alone in having forged such a comeback. Matthew McConaughey similarly lurched from respected films (“Dazed and Confused,” “A Time to Kill”) — to devoting almost a decade to being a RomCom cliche (“Failure to Launch”). But he has also bounced back (“Bernie,” “Magic Mike,” “The Lincoln Lawyer.”)

Of course, you don’t see him playing Aquaman.┬áSo this seems like a weird move to me. It feels like he’s tempting fate.

Maybe there’s just too much pressure associated with being a “serous” and respected actor. I’m reminded of “30 Rock’s” Tracy Jordon who — having become a bespectacled respected actor with his film “Hard to Watch” — decided it was too much work to maintain his new image.

“I have no choice. I gotta stay serious,” he lamented. “From now on, the only movies Tracy Jordan makes are about the Holocaust, Georgia O’Keefe, or both.”

I suppose making fart jokes is ultimately more fun.