Ben Is The New Bruce? Why All The Angst Over Batman?
Hollywood repeatedly makes the same mistake over and over again at their own peril (and loss of profit). They assume that we as an audience are dumb and willing to accept anything any and every premise they come up with, BUT as an audience we are smart, smart, smart. We benefit from a collective story telling memory of nearly 5,000 years full of heroes, villains, triumphs, and tragedies. We know how the story should go. We are hardwired for these stories that we’ve been telling and retelling for thousands of years.
Therefore, it’s not surprising to me that there’s been so much angst on Facebook and the blogosphere over the choice of Ben Afleck as the next Batman. For whatever reason we as an audience are unable to accept Ben as the next Bruce. It says something deeply profound about us as film goers when there’s such a response to the selection of an actor for a role. Our programming doesn’t accept this software update. It must be a virus…Batman 9.1 is threatening to crash the system because, we are hardwired to recognize a good story when we hear or see it and apparently very few of us associate Ben Afleck with anything heroic or epic. What is it about Ben?
Now the unsettling thing about this is that while I’m prattling on about a film populated by fictional characters and events we are surrounded by stories of heartache and sorrow where people desperately need a hero or heroes to rescue them.These are true stories that don’t always reside only in the dark, but are often right in front us. Stories about:
- Human Trafficking
- Corporations That Keep Record Profits For Themselves
We have an opportunity to participate in these stories. More than that we are desperately needed to participate in these stories as a source of good and a source of truth and a source of hope – to be the hands and feet of God. Why do we tell ourselves stories of redemption and why do we bristle at stories that get it wrong? Because we crave justice. We crave redemption. We long for someone to rise up. Someone has. He rose up roughly 2,000 years ago and calls us now to join him and participate in the redemption of all things.