(Screenshot: 1999 MTV Movie Awards/YouTube)

Speaking at a Comic Book Men panel yesterday at New York Comic Con, Kevin Smith shocked nobody in the room when he confirmed that Ben Affleck is his preferred Dark Knight. According to ComicBook.com, Smith lays out a pretty specific explanation behind his choice:

Ben Affleck rules as the Batman. The brilliance of Zack Snyder said, “let’s make him look and move like the video game Batman”. I mean it used to be Michael Keaton, and fuck, Mr. Mom doesn’t hit too hard, but Ben comes in and blows up 12 people just coming in the door.

That’s a serious finned-gauntlet being thrown down, so it warrants scrutiny. Yes, if you go by the rubric of punches per frame of film, the Mallrats director has a point; say what you will about Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, but the warehouse scene alone makes it quantifiably the punchiest in Batman film history, bar none. But critical readers need to weigh the evidence and consider the source. First, Smith has never been reticent about his poor relationship with Tim Burton, the director of the 1989 Batman, which dates back to Burton’s low assessment of Smith’s script for the aborted Superman Lives project.

Then there’s the fact that, Affleck, along with Matt Damon, represent 94.7 percent of the star power in Smith’s directorial career (not counting his for-hire work on Cop Out). So he’s bound to be a little biased. And then there’s the fact that he admits to watching Batman V Superman “25 times” and vows to “keep watching it until I love it,” which may be evidence of Stockholm Syndrome clouding his logic.

Of course, Smith doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of the Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, so that’s a pretty big snub to Christian Bale, a frontrunner in the “best Bruce Wayne” category, and a lock for “graveliest-voiced Batman.” Meanwhile, Val Kilmer and George Clooney are probably just glad to get away without another “worst Batman ever” email notification.

Advertisement

Yes, Kevin Smith is full of opinions about social powder-kegs like “DC versus Marvel,” and “best Batman,” but sharing them with receptive audiences is pretty much his other full-time job when he’s not directing. And besides, he had nothing but glowing things to say about Luke Cage, so the man is capable of reasonable deductions.