Batman, Batman, Batman? or: Would I follow Richard Armitage to another comic book role?

I’d collected some of the links to other bloggers’ comments on Batman for Legenda — check them out:

And I am sure there are more … so don’t hesitate to put your favorite ones in the comments. Or your own blog’s post — it’s been a chaotic week and I’m sure I’ve inadvertently deleted stuff.

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SH2_068John Standring (Richard Armitage) helps Carol Boulton (Sarah Smart) clean up the mess in her father’s house, in episode 2 of Sparkhouse. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

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I wasn’t going to comment myself on this particular moment of hype — and so far, it really seems to be only or mostly hype from my perspective — but in a way, I think you can probably guess what I’d say if you’ve been reading this blog very long. For almost every position I can mention, I’ve already written a post.

In a way, what I feel about Batman offers the natural conclusion to what I’d wanted to say about my reaction to Star Trek: Into Darkness before the discussion got so heated. (It also applies to my reaction to Armitage playing Matthew Clairmont, if that should happen, despite my lack of interest in that role for him, and to the possibility that he would play Richard III, which I would love to see him do.) I’ve been on record since the Fall of 2010 as agnostic with regard to roles — Armitage should do what Armitage wants. (So please don’t comment that I’m prescribing; I’m not. I never have. Any conditions on my Armitage love are not inherently or necessarily dependent on roles he takes.) I don’t really believe that any role is inherently better than any other based on the cultural importance of the role. If he does get Batman, of course, we’ll all have been part of the hype, something that used to drive me crazy but to which I’ve learned to turn a blind eye or occasionally be amused by in the meantime. (There’ll be more stuff to buy, of course.) There are still all the problems for Armitage of any franchise as the source of potentially disappointing scripts, of course.

Which isn’t to say I don’t have fears … but they’re not about the popular nature of Batman or the question of how the role would shape Richard Armitage’s career.

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Before Armitagemania, if you’d said I’d have something to learn from a shoot ’em up about a washed up SAS operative, I’d have told you you were crazy. Or from a manipulative spy … or a fantasy dwarf … or socially challenged Yorkshire farmer wannabe … or a nineteenth-century manufacturer … or a leather-clad pantomime villain from an anachronistic medieval castle …

But that’s been the case, nonetheless. Every single time.

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This is the issue for me: I’m an Armitage fan because when Armitagemania smacked me across the face, it happened because of how the role of Mr. Thornton intersected with my concrete problems and the way that Armitage’s acting in that role first attracted me, and then made me think about my own life. Because that work made me write again, woke me up. Gave me things back that I had forgotten about. Kept me writing, kept me thinking, got my life going again.

And I stuck with Armitage because that kept happening. Against the odds, again and again and again, as I watched a tv show I’d never have considered spending time on before then, I found something in those roles that taught me something about my own life.

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Again and again and again I find those things. Sometimes after watching a piece of his work for the n-dozenth time. Sometimes when I see the right moment of his oeuvre at the right moment of my life.

I experience crazy synchronicities with Armitage’s work and what I learn about Armitage the person.

So if I have any fears about Batman, they’re only about the possibility that nothing in that story has further resonances or life lessons for me.

But I don’t know the Batman story beyond extreme superficiality. I know much less about Batman than I did about Thorin, and look how that worked out.

At the same time, see above. It’s not about the role.

It is something about the actor who’s choosing the roles, his tendency to pick up on archetypes and his emotional visualizations.

And it’s about me. About my needs and their intersection with the way that Armitage’s artistry looks at and mediates the world in light of the questions I’m asking.

I clearly can’t tell that in advance. It’s part of why it’s hard for me to get too excited about future projects before I see much of them (and why I’ve been quiet about Black Sky).

But I know that Armitagemania will be done only when the man and his work stop speaking to me. Even then, I suspect, he’ll always remain in my heart and my interests as someone who helped me understand so much about the world, as my “technician of the human condition” (to mention something UK Expat’s quoted a few times).

And none of the questions about Batman are ones I can answer purely with reference to my own preferences about roles. I’ve already learned that I don’t know where the lessons are coming from. Batman could be another instance of that. If Armitage’s work in that role is as good as I am sure it will be, if that role syncs with what’s going on in my life — and most of all, if I am ready to go there with him.

So, Batman — sure. Why not?

Teach me something more, Mr. Armitage. Please.

~ by Servetus on August 7, 2013.

109 Responses to “Batman, Batman, Batman? or: Would I follow Richard Armitage to another comic book role?”

  1. “…Armitage should do what Armitage wants…” AMEN!!!!!

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  2. Batman? I’m game. Armitage!withdrawals and a tight rubber suit notwithstanding, I think he’d do a great job with the character and I’d love to see him have a go at it. 🙂

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  3. Totally agree.
    And look, I thought I coudln’t watch Strike Back because I hate those kind of movies but then I found it was something different… and now Porter is one of my fave characters played by RA. I have faith in RA’s judgment about scripts, characters and of course on what is better for him as a human being and for his career. We’ll see. I will follow… 😉

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  4. I came to the conclusion almost immediately that I’m certain that Richard Armitage knows a lot more about how and why he chooses a particular role than I do, thus who am I to second guess. Personally, I don’t have strong feelings one way or another about Batman,although it is an archetypal character many ways. I’m just anxious to see what actually lies next-

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    • Completely agree, obscura, that Batman has built in archetypal elements.

      The SELF we show to the world in daylight (in Christian Bale’s version – rich, superficial billionaire playboy). Versus the SELF we inhabit in private (again Christian Bale – mask-wearing, fighter of evil, working through pain of childhood trauma / helplessness / witnessing murder of both parents) in our interior world. 😉

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      • described that way, it sounds like it would totally appeal to the Armitage interest in contradictions in the self.

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        • The irony of the above description is that the public presentation of “Bruce Wayne” is an even more effective mask / disguise than the physical mask Batman wears when presenting his Interior self to the world. 😉

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  5. Whatever, wherever, where he leads me, I will follow . . . and be happy to do so. Because I believe in Richard Armitage. He hasn’t let me down yet!
    I think Guy will have something to say about this potential role on Friday, by the way . . . 😉

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  6. Foo…hitting follow up comments now! (Massive storm wacking out all the electronics )

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  7. yeah, I saw that orange glob and disconnected myself from the electricity …

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    • Our Internet was down – panic attack! Quickly disable wifi and switch to 3G on phone lest withdrawal begins – sheesh! I really need to get a grip

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  8. Brilliant post , Servetus. Couldn’t agree more. Before RA the idea of me watching something like Strike Back was ludicrous, Robin Hood only slightly less so… Now I gain something more each time I watch again. I’m not particularly looking forward to Black Sky – not my type of film – but I bet the same will happen. He’s such a compassionate actor, even when he’s being the tough guy. Not sure that’s quite the right word but perhaps you know what I mean.

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    • yes — he’s not a conventional tough guy. Given the amount of tv he’s gotten me to watch … and the number of times I’ve seen TH, I imagine whatever’s next will reproduce that effect.

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  9. I will watch him in anything, wearing a bib to catch my drool. I would love for him to be Batman.We (his fans) live in a bubble and honestly, it has been my experience that most people I talk to outside of the bubble have never heard of him. Even if they saw the Hobbit, they don’t connect his name to Thorin. If he becomes better known to movie fans at large, I assume his career will expand with offers for more roles, giving him more freedom of choice. I don’t see a downside. If George Clooney can do it, so can Richard.

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    • Here in Germany, outside the fandom I really feel lonely knowing RA. They managed to have whole page reports in some overregional newspapers without even mentioning his name. Can you imagine how the reporters managed to see “The Hobbit” part 1 without even encountering Thorin?

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      • Yes, I can imagine very well. It’s frustrating, but on the other hand, Servetus says his name recognition has improved since TH so we can be encouraged about that.

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        • As always … context … A year ago you only knew who he was if you were personally a fan, watched a lot of British tv, or loved period drama. Now, the segment of people associated with TH / LOTR in some way or familiar with those productions know who he is. By the time TH finishes, he should have the recognition level of someone like Viggo Mortensen. Tom Cruise / George Clooney-level recognition is still a way off, I think.

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      • Totally agree, sometimes I feel like an alien, no recognition of RA at all. But this gives us an opportunity to get first class places on the red carpet, if there´ll ever be a German Hobbit premiere that the actors attend. Still dreaming of it…

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    • It’s so much better now than it was a year ago, though. All my students know who he is, for example, which they didn’t before TH.

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      • New York is really out of it. No one I know ever heard of him. He’s just not in the media. I’m not complaining because the alternative of media attention isn’t appealing! I think it’s great that he’s being mentioned for Batman and that it’s getting mostly good buzz for him. Thanks for the ping back!!

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        • Whether it’s a concsious decision or not to be in the media, I think it’s a good thing…..always leave them wanting more.

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  10. Thank you for this wonderful post, Servetus! I can so much relate with it.
    RA, the “technician of the human condition”. What a great expression UK Expat !
    I don’t really care what he plays, just that he playes and many – please!!!!
    I am begging here – many more roles to come and where I am able to see him in that roles.
    Why I am so biased to RIII is, because I think his attitude to roles and sources and background story and difficulties and contradictions in life just would make the combination of RA and RIII an absolutely top-breaking and congenial one.
    But otherwise, just bring more roles on for RA. Sorry, I really would let him work day and night. Good that I have no say in that so that he sometimes gets some rest as well 😉

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    • HI CDOArt!!!

      Just to clarify – the “technician of the human condition” quote came in answer to another, much broader question which was, “What is the POINT of acting?” and goes on to conclude that “Acting / actors hold up a mirror to humanity”, so that it may see and recognize itself (one imagines this goes to early Greek plays as a voice of commentary on society).

      Just as with mechanics working on cars, the better the mechanic, the more capable he/she is to spot troubles in the car (also, mechanics tend to specialize in certain types of makes / models). Same goes for the acting technician… or rather, the person who brings their car to that particular technician. 😉

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      • Thank you, UK Expat.
        The idea of the “mirror to humanity” sounds familiar. Must brush up my literary studies, but think Lessing, Schiller and Kant were heavily embedded in those theories.
        RA certainly is a specialist for (my) human conditions 😉
        though I don’t think I would give him my car for repairs 🙂
        [For houshold repairs, I think we would get into a fight who would be allowed to do them 😉 ]

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        • Just want to chime in here and say I love that phrase too. “Technician of the human condition” — very poetic.

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          • Hi saraleee,
            That is a wonderful description. I so love RA’s attentiveness to little details. He really is a grand master to take the human complexity appart and put it together again, so technician is the perfect description for that.

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  11. Yeah. It’s true I think that in watching movies / actor portrayals of characters, one always has the possibility of recognizing vital qualities that are hidden or repressed in oneself (due to pain / denial / internal judgment voices).

    A good actor portrayal can separate these “qualities in repression” and help a person investigate in a much safer way, as the quality is no longer associated with his or her own identity (people can shut down when self critical voices take over).

    I do still watch a majority of movies on planes (where I watched Dark Knight Rising) so I am a bit impervious to pre-movie hype. But my favorite line on this topic so far has been from the THR link on RANET quoting an insider saying “You might as well put Adam West in this list”. Oh man – what a great idea!! I do so hope they do find a role for Adam West in the next cycle of this franchise’s evolution. 😀

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    • I have no idea who that even is 🙂

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      • Really?

        Adam West played Bruce Wayne/Batman in the original 60s series.

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        • I was born ’69, so I guess I missed it 🙂

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          • The original TV serials of Batman (1966-1968) and Star Trek (1966-1969) were broadcast almost at the same time. Both were super campy and kind of unwatchable to me by the time I saw them in re-runs.

            I think there can be value in ‘re-booting’ a franchise of characters – if they can be smartly updated to speak to a new generation – Cumberbatch’s ‘Sherlock’ is an excellent example of a thoroughly modernized version of the master sleuth (although, I scratched my head in confusion when I saw a re-make of the TV serial for Knight Rider???). 😀

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  12. Interesting post Servetus and thank you for the pingback. 🙂

    I first have to start off by saying that I don’t think anyone is saying that RA should not take the roles he wants to play. RA’s career belongs to him. Also in my post I think I was clear that if he is the next batman that I will support him ,and to my knowledge, others who prefer that he not take this role will also support him anyway.

    I know that I said I will not be seeing the next two Hobbit movies, but it is not because I don’t support RA in them. When I saw the first Hobbit movie, I sat there with my hands over my eyes during a lot of the scenes, so I know that it is better that I pass on the next two. However, I wish RA and all the other actors much success in them. I read The Hobbit book and enjoyed it. That is enough for me. I am glad that the role of Thorin catapulted RA to greater fame.

    I have NO DOUBT that RA would be a brilliant batman. And for those who prefer that he not take the role also agree that he would bring something special to it. No one, to my knowledge, is arguing that point either. I think RA would be great in any role he takes on.

    Movies certainly can be inspirational, and I have often been inspired by them, but I don’t rely on them that deeply to teach me my life lessons. I mainly have other sources for those purposes, but yes, movies and characters can profoundly bring life lessons and enlightenment. Those movies are the ones that remain with me and I will watch over and over. Often certain characters will remain in my mind for months and bring strong emotions up, such John Thornton. And I fully acknowledge that it is because of the way RA played that character.

    I am not really tuned into the human idea of what a superhero is. Mine is very, very different, but I know that many people connect with characters such as batman, Wolverine and the like. I am just a tad bit (maybe a lot) tired of this genre of films.

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    • @Collarcitybrownstone: TOTALLY with you on the John Thornton portrayal and the quality of that BBC production in general. It was just the perfect storm of a period drama production – from the superb ensemble cast involved, to its quality music and direction – everything was there to frame Armitage’s breakthrough performance within it. 🙂

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    • saying quickly — I’m not saying anyone was saying Armitage should take a role. I’m saying that I was recently charged with saying that, and in fact I have *never* said that. (See links in post.)

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    • OK, and also — I think you are replying to someone else here, not me, for most of this reply. I’m not arguing with you or even raising several of these points. What you see or don’t see is up to you.

      I’m aware that people watch tv and film for many different reasons. You don’t have to share mine! 🙂 On the question of where life lessons come from — I used to be a lot fussier about where I got mine from and very judgmental of people who derived deep meaning from what I thought was substandard stuff. Until my life fell apart and the way back turned out to lead through the work of an actor who’d been in a lot of material that only a year before I would have called of questionable value. What I am trying to say in this post is that my attraction is about the *lesson* — not about who brings it (a to me unknown British actor) or the vehicle it comes in (t-level television). Armitage has brought me a lot of unanticipated lessons.

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  13. Thanks for the mention, Servetus. I was thinking it’d be a slower day over at Perry’s place-but now, I’m not so sure. The comments here illustrate that whether he plays Batman, Clairmont, Dawsey, Gloucester, Monte Cristo or any other role, he will bring something to it that will be transformative to the role and to us.

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    • Absolutely!

      (it’s interesting that the organization that runs A03 is called “The Organization for Transformative Works.” In that sense, they mean fanfic — works that transform other works. But I read it and think, reading this has transformed my life.)

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  14. While I agree with talk about roles for RA in general, I do think there are other considerations in taking on Batman that have nothing to do with the script, the director or the overall quality of the production.

    It’s all to do with following on from an actor who most people felt inhabited the role admirably, and who they’re not keen to see replaced. Christian Bale has been a very popular Batman over three movies, the last of which is still very clear in people’s minds. ANYONE taking up the mantle (or cloak!) will be in for a great deal of scrutiny, with a fair amount of inbuilt resistance to their new interpretation of the part, even though there have been a number of actors inhabit the bat suit in the last twenty years.

    It would be like the part of Thorin being played by someone else in a later version of Middle Earth, and trying to be impartial to the performance whilst sitting in the movie theatre thinking ‘this just isn’t right’. Would we want RA to have to fight his way through this type of backlash to prove the quality of his acting? I think an original role would prove a lot less problematic.

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    • LOL KatharineD, I think RA has already experienced the matter of taking on a role in which there was a considerable amount of inbuilt resistance to his interpretation of the part. When he took on the role of Thorin, there were quite a few Tolkien fans who thought he was too young, too pretty, too tall, just there to bring in the female fans, not commanding enough, not

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      • (Ugh! Got cut off by accident before I was done)
        …anyway, he was not their idea of Thorin. The pressure was intense, and explains his frequent comments in interviews about how he can only give HIS version of Thorin.
        He rose beautifully to the challenge and has won over a majority of the nay-sayers, but don’t ever think that he didn’t have to fight incredibly hard to win the diehard fans’ approval in the role of Thorin.

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        • Oh, I know there was a lot of criticism when he got cast as Thorin- I had to put up with a fair bit of it from my older son, the Tolkien geek, who wanted a much older actor for the part. At least Thorin hadn’t been acted out on screen before though- he only lived in people’s imaginations. Batman has such a strong pop culture profile, particularly Bale’s version and I just think that’s a lot to get past. Having said that, I think he’s perfect for the part!

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          • I agree, Richard is doing a terrific job as Thorin. And Lord knows, there are some people who just won’t be happy until Peter Jackson makes the movie that exists in their heads. I hope your son was one of the many who ultimately came to appreciate RA’s portrayal!
            But I do see your point, that it’s difficult to be the next guy in a role when someone has come to be as identified with it as Christian Bale has with Batman. Same with James Bond – Daniel Craig has done a great job there.

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        • Well said, Saraleee!

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    • I’m sure Armitage’s reasons for taking or not taking a role he’s been offered are complex and indeed mostly not transparent to me, and I assume he also gets good advice from industry insiders — this post is more about my reasons for being interested or not being interested in Batman or any other roles. I have a really hard time keeping track of reasons for my own decisions, so I’ll leave that piece up to him.

      I’m saying that if I worry about Batman it’s because I worry that there won’t be anything to learn from that story, but that if Armitage took it I’d be interested to see what light he threw on my human condition this time.

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      • I think one of the reasons he takes a role is just for the work. I read where some actors say they take roles based on artisitc reasons and some say they take roles just to get the work. RA seems to do a little of both. Of course, that’s probably true of a lot of actors, but I don’t pay any attention to a lot of other actors.

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        • and he really likes to work — but this doesn’t feel like that (unless he has other alternatives). I would think that if you were going to get this role you’d really have to sell them on your own interest in it. (Porter, in contrast, I always thought, might have been something he took because he didn’t have attractive alternatives.)

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          • Funny, I never got that feeling about his playing Porter–I always thought he took it partially because Robin Hood was ending, but also because it was kind of new ground for him. And he does like to keep working.

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            • he said an unusual number of ambivalent things about it for him– that he didn’t like the story at the beginning, that he was offered the role at the beginning and then again at the end, that he took at after others turned it down — and his comments at the time it came out were that there were no roles available in British drama. Obviously I don’t know — but it was the role about which his own comments were the least enthused of anything he’s done.

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              • Maybe I’m projecting because he still did such an amazing job–“Strike Back” is not something I would have thought I’d ever watch, much less enjoy, but I did–and mainly because of Richard as Porter.

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                • yeah, I can pretty much say I’d never have watched this if Armitage weren’t in it. In a million years.

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                  • Wouldn’t have even been on my radar–but I loved it. Which also goes to show I need to broaden my scope a little.

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  15. Hi Servetus, glad you cited your post on Star Trek, my favorite so far (women in popular culture and high vs low culture, see “Apocalittici e integrati”by U. Eco, the old Italian edition even has Batman on the cover!). Of course I’ll watch anything with him in it, and this hype is good for his career, but… I’m not sure I want to endorse a Zack Snyder movie, not even for RA. For all the fun that fangirling gives to me, I feel it is my duty as a woman to stand against misogyny, and his CV as director and writer does not bode well. True that good acting always teaches us something, but it HAS to be through boys with toys inflicting violence? An if he takes this role, he will definitely not be looking back at his old demographic. It’s all theory for now, let’s wait and see.
    Hugs from another daughter of aging parents.

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    • Nice comment, movie (and hugs back).

      I don’t know anything about Zack Snyder. I do think that the question of the potential misogyny of all of this stuff is significant, insofar as a casually sexist film or role could potentially pose a problem for me. Rather than go on at length about it here, I will say that I’ve been drafting about this in connection with the “gender trouble” posts. I’ve been trying to figure out how to arrange that stuff … maybe I need to go there first.

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      • Excellent! That’s exactly what I had in mind!.(I’m selfish, I hope writing this gives you as much relief as it gives to me reading it). Being a movie geek, I’m taking things for granted: please I urge all of you to check him out. Snyder wrote and directed the infamous “300”, his are not your usual superhero movies, they’re completely testosterone saturated environments, much more than the Hobbit or Strike Back; it’s not the violence, it’s the “boys own”..and there will be “gender troubles” aplenty in the gossips sites, if he gets the role!

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        • Ordinarily, I wouldn’t defend “testosterone saturated environments” and I know very little about Snyders oeuvre, but in fairness, “300”, given its subject matter (ie the Spartan stand against the Persians at Thermopylae) could hardly be anything but violent and male driven – it depicts classical Greece, the coiners of the term misogyny, and specifically, Sparta, a heavily patriarchal, military saturated society even by Ancient Greek standards. Truthfully, I found the autonomy of the Spartan queen Gorgo (Lena Headey) laughable given the reality of the time period depicted. (I’m not saying it was right, but we can’t change the reality to suit modern ideals). That said, I really detested that film, but more for its cartoonish anachronism than perceived misogyny.

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          • Do historical films get a pass that we’re not willing to give fantasy?

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            • Maybe, in that you can’t change the facts, but you can create whatever “facts” you want in fantasy. I don’t know the answer really.

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              • Should we not tell historical tales since there is no way to reconcile some things that happened? Or is it that many fill makers don’t take the time to develop the whole story? (No snark intended here, don’t know myself)

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                • To some (maybe to me, maybe not …) of course one reason to portray history more faithfully is that we are horrified by what happened in the past. So if you edit all the nastiness out of the past, you’re jeopardizing the point of knowing about it in the first place, it might be argued.

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        • I think that actually could very well be an argument, from his perspective, for *taking* the role. His traditional fan base was almost exclusively women; there are more men now; but I can see an argument that his marketability would be increased by doing a “boys own” type of movie. (Not saying he thinks that; just that a case could be made for that POV.)

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          • I agree. I am convinced that only marketability would be at the base of this choice (not a criticism). Good to know you’re safe!

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            • Can’t imagine he would think that–but no harm in trying to broaden his ever growing fan base. Batman interests me not at all, but if that’s his choice–I’ll be there.

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  16. Thanks for linking to my essay and mentioning my siggie. Cheers!

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  17. I was completely and totally surprised when I watched the first Batman film with Micheal Keaton (a boyfriend dragged me to it). I was again bowled over by Christian Bale’s Batman, so I’ll keep an open mind, but nobody would have to drag me to see RA as Batman. Just in the last year or so, I’ve become interested in a more open interpretation of what constitutes “classic literature” (and yes, at this point, I think Batman can be considered a “classic”), as well as its use in modern media. In fact my son will be starting a Coursera class this fall that explores the interpretation of classic fantasy literature into film, games, etc. I have every intention of watching all of the lectures with him. Technology totally permeates the world we inhabit, so I love the idea of investigating the connection between print and new media with critical thinking.

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    • I think we often forget how much of the “great” literature until relatively recently was also “popular” literature — this is a theme that’s been explored extensively in my research field (and at the base of one of the links about, about Armitage and “great art”).

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  18. Got side-tracked a little there, reading over everyone’s wonderful and thoughtful comments.
    But I just wanted to say, Servetus, that I loved your articulation of what Armitage gives to you, and how his work helps to shed light on aspects of your own life. His work speaks to me as well.
    I think there can be no greater praise for an artist, than to acknowledge that their art has helped to change one’s own life for the better — that no matter how frivolous people judge it to be, this artist’s work has meaning and resonance on a human level.

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    • It sounds a bit like I’m saying “I trust Armitage.” So I’m not totally objective. At the same time, I think that if he really stopped doing projects that tell me something, he would become much less interesting — even as he became a sort of defining moment in the story of my life (as three and half years of blogging here, writing about him, and all the discussions and people I’ve met and everything I have learned are something I don’t want to leave behind and will never forget).

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      • Well, there are no guarantees that everything is going to stay the same, and that you’re going to feel the same way about every new project Armitage works on. Everything changes. But the good stuff we’ve experienced is still good.

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        • yes. there’s just a question of whether I’d continue looking through it for life lessons, if he went somewhere totally different. But it’s not an acute worry of mine at the moment 🙂

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  19. Estou em dúvida… Os filmes de Batman se tornaram desnecessariamente muito violentos e isso não combina com a doçura de RA, mas confesso que adoraria vê-lo em roupas de couro novamente.. rsrsrsrsr

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  20. So I just listened to a podcast from this site “Geekscholars.com” on which they all agreed that Richard Armitage didn’t look the part and was “too soft looking,” ad after all, he needed prosthetics to make him look like Thorin (DUH)

    Anyway, just a note about the comments here and elsewhere on role selection. I think we are able to, and for the most part *are*, having a conversation discussing what each of sees as the pros and cons of Richard Armitage taking this or any other role in terms of our opinions on career strategy, what he would bring to such a role, is he suited to the role, do we even want to see him in this role ( or ones like it), is the role a risk career-wise, and everything else discussed here and elsewhere, without actually endorsing or rejecting the role for him. The writer and most everyone commenting here and elsewhere have acknowledged the obvious- it’s not up to us and he has made good decisions in the past.
    And, we don’t actually know what he wants for his career, other than regular work.

    I also think there’s another element to the conversation – for me at least: that is, some may have fantasies of the type of role we’d like to see him in* at some point and soon* i – not because of any career driven, art appreciation reason, but because, damn it – I want to see him as a leading man folding in every character of his I’ve loved- and I want that purely and selfishly for me- because there’s not enough of that right now for me to see. And that’s a completely different conversation from the one we’re having.

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    • I agree — and it may or may not be obvious from what I wrote that I have a really hard time having that latter conversation. There are lots of “I’d love to see him as ______” all over the place that I have never participated in (again, beyond R3, because he’s said he wants that) because I really don’t have “that role” in my mind. It may be a failure of imagination on my part, but I just don’t.

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      • I think viewpoints on the latter conversation mirror to some degree what each individual comes away with from the fan relationship and why we’re involved in the first place. I’ve yet to answer that question as it pertains to myself, but I’m getting there.

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        • I don’t disagree, but I’m saying for me that question ends in an aporia.

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          • I may be misunderstanding you. I thought you were very clear on “why Richard” and what you get from observing him.

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            • oh, yeah, absolutely. But I can’t put that into a role.

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            • or for that matter, exclude any role on that basis. I am not a huge fan of vampire / zombie stuff and I feel like Matthew Clairmont would be a challenge but I can’t even say “I won’t go there.”

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              • That’s a different conversation- more like the first.I can say now there’s no “there” I can think of that I won’t go. (well Fraud Squad for other reasons). Albeit, it may be that I’d “go there” more for purposes of study than pleasure – but I’d go. That is if I felt as I do now. Part of this for me is studying a subject -he’s the subject.

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    • i.e., what I want “for me” is some story that illuminates my life issues, has resonances with problems I face. What that role would be — I have no idea.

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    • The podcast people apparently haven’t seen him kicking major ass as Porter. He didn’t need any prosthetics for that role and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on his bad side!! 😉

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  21. I have pretty much found the same thing–I’ve watched things I’d never have considered seeing simply because of Richard’s participation and been mesmerized and surprised every time by the level of involvement he inspires in me. So, yes, I would follow him to Batman or pretty much anything else–I would watch/listen to the man read the phone book dressed in a garbage bag. Quite happily.

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  22. What ever he decided is best for him I will most likely watch. I didn’t know if I would like TH, I had never read the books (I will after I see all the movies, and only will watch LOTR after all the Hobbit ones). In someways I was surprised how much I like it, the not knowing if I would like the movie, but that had nothing to do with RA, just the type of movie. I knew SB would not be a problem for me, we watch quite a few war type movies ( I am the only female in the house).

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    • you might also really like Batman — you live in a really male world, moreso than I do.

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      • My second date with Mr 70 was to met his brother just older than him and SIL. That night was “Hamburger Hill”, which I will never watch again. If I don’t like what they watch I find something else to do. I most times am Richarding while they watch “Combat”

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  23. Reading these comments made me think about my Sean Bean fandom. I loved Sean Bean, still think he’s a really terrific actor, but he has made MANY films that I would not go see because they are so violent or horror movies. I just can’t watch those movies, don’t see any redeeming features to them and just wouldn’t go see him in them. So I guess I can’t say I would go see RA in whatever he was in. Which I would like to say, somehow. :-/

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    • there’s no rule that you have to see everything 🙂 fandom without obligation!

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      • I’ve been mulling on this topic all day. I personally wasn’t thrilled when RA was cast as Thorin – not because I thought he was wrong for the part but because I couldn’t imagine going to see TH. I’ve never liked Tolkien and I hated the LOTR films. But I have seen the film three times on the big screen and have bought the DVD. If you’d told me that three years ago, I would have said that was impossible.

        So I think with some proviso’s*, I will probably go and see whatever RA does next.

        Even if it does involve him dressing up as a bat.

        * I would draw the line at gratuitous violence and horror. And if he does Richard III I will have to avert my eyes a lot as they were a blood thirsty lot.

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        • wow, what did you hate about the LOTR films?

          I wasn’t a Tolkien fan, but I thought the films were gorgeous. They actually got me to finish reading LOTR.

          Did you not think SB was unnecessarily violent? (I did.)

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          • If anything, I thought SB was far less violent that I’d expected–I was very surprised. Mainly because I haven’t much stomach for violence and I was anticipating having to spend a large part of the film with my eyes closed.

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          • At risk of alienating a huge portion of your readers- I think a lot of my dislike goes back to PJ’s direction. For example, I was watching Cate Blanchett the other night in Notes on a Scandal and she was superb. Whereas in LOTR, she came across as wooden to me. I am quite prepared to acknowledge this is a personal thing- my point, though, is that having watched TH having HATED the LOTR means that I would probably go to see RA in most things unless he did something which I knew would traumatise me.

            As for SB- curiously that sits just the right side of gratuitous violence for me. OTOH, I have never seen The Tudors as anything with a beheading in would deeply upset me. I can only watch SB because the terrorists didn’t behead Katie but the first time I watched, I had to leave the room until Mr.B had vetted it.

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            • Interesting. The main other thing I’ve seen Freeman in is the first series of Sherlock, in which I loved him, but I found his performance hugely disappointing here. I do think Jackson really pushes the iconic / figurative aspects of a performance as opposed to the naturalistic ones.

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  24. “Leather -clad pantomime villain..” How brilliant 😀

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  25. For me personally, I have a “meh” feeling about him playing Batman. I do enjoy super hero movies. Batman is not one of my personal favs, but Bale sort of hit it out of the park in that franchise … didn’t he? I am happy to see RA get lots of media buzz. If he gets the part I will def go see the movie

    I would love to see him do a meaty drama … something like August at Osage County. I would love to see him just act again, no special effects, no bazillion franchise with 10 d special effects and tons of international hype. Just act in a well written drama.

    But that’s me!

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  26. do a meaty drama and win an Oscar

    altho, Thorin might nab him an Oscar????

    🙂

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  27. I guess it’s a good thing that he’s being considered for one of the most visible movie characters in Hollywood, but I was hoping for something different. And it seems that he may be moving toward being type cast, i.e. superherodom. But the more I think about it, the more I think that he could take the superhero genre to a new level because nobody’s better at adding layers to a character than RA. And casting RA could also bring a different group of folks to these movies.

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    • The thing is that everyone is doing a lot of hero films at the moment. It feels like one of those cultural moments. And Stewart and McKellen can now essentially write their tickets, after playing hero / superhero / scifi roles — so if that’s what Armitage is thinking (or his management), it seems like a rational choice, even if it’s not one that I’m thrilled about in advance.

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  28. […] [these were linked earlier in the week] […]

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