Affleck 'has chops' for Batman

New York - Amid an Internet outcry, Joss Whedon has defended the casting of Ben Affleck (right) as Batman in the Man Of Steel sequel.

The support from the director of last year's superhero blockbuster The Avengers came as a petition on called on Warner Bros to ditch Affleck, following its announcement that the star would join Superman actor Henry Cavill in the studio's movie. About 50,000 signatures were on it as of yesterday.

Whedon tweeted last Friday night: "Affleck'll crush it. He's got the chops, he's got the chin - just needs the material.

"Affleck and Cavill toe to toe - I'm in," added the director, an author of comic books and who is working on the Disney rival movie Avengers 2: Age Of Ultron, as well as the upcoming ABC series and Avengers spinoff, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

On Twitter Friday, the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBen Affleck was trending. Affleck, 41, is too strapping, the tweets said, or too square-jawed, or too famous - or too bland, unsubtle, or too deliberate and too smug, reported the Washington Post.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss was among the first to object, tweeting, "You read for a part, you feel good about it, you feel confident, then they cast Ben Affleck."

An Internet critic wrote: "Spend 10 years working your way back into everyone's good graces. Win an Oscar. Then you get cast as Batman, and bam! You're Gigli again," referring to the title of Affleck's 2003 box-office flop and the actor-director's Best Picture Oscar win in February for Argo.

But some defended the choice, including Travis Langley, a professor of psychology and author of Batman And Psychology: A Dark And Stormy Knight, reported Agence France-Presse.

"Just remember: 'Michael Keaton can't play Batman.' 'Heath Ledger can't play the Joker.' 'Anne Hathaway can't play Catwoman,'" he wrote, referring to other casting moves in the Batman universe that were later praised. The sequel is to be released on July 17, 2015.

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