Batman isn’t Ben Affleck’s first portrayal of a DC Comics super hero. Many people were so put off by his role as blind lawyer-turned-costumed crime fighter Matt Murdock in the ill-received “Daredevil” that they forget he starred in the role of Superman as well. Okay, so technically he was performing as actor George Reeves playing the Man of Steel in the biopic “Hollywoodland.” It still showed Affleck can transform himself into any character he puts his mind to.
George Reeves played the Man of Steel for the television series “The Adventures of Superman” for six seasons running from 1952 to 1958. “Hollywoodland” tells the story of a detective (Adrien Brody) who uncovers unexpected links to his own personal life as he probes the mysterious death of Superman actor Reeves (Ben Affleck) in 1959. A possible affair between the actor and Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), the wife of a studio executive (Bob Hoskins), might reveal the truth.
In the scene from “Hollywoodland,” Affleck transforms himself from chummy drinking buddy backstage to charming and heroic Superman in the blink of an eye. In a matter of two minutes, he goes from jovial to indestructible to frightened as a child from the audience points a real gun at Reeves and asks if he can shoot him. That’s a short time span for any actor to change his attitude and demeanor in. You can see the video clip right here.
Many people have a problem with Ben Affleck portraying the Dark Knight in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” I think he’s more than proven himself as a worthy successor to take up the cape from Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and Christian Bale. His dramatic turns in movies like “Argo” and “Hollywoodland” stand as proof he has the acting chops to take on a serious character. His physique in both “Daredevil” and Superman costumes show he has the build for the role as well.
"Hollywoodland" is available on DVD and as a Digital Download.