Fans almost revolted when they heard Ben Affleck was set to play Batman in the upcoming Superman crossover film. The outcry snowballed into a mass movement that saw petitions signed and sent out around the country. One disgruntled individual actually submitted a petition to the White House, asking the government to make it illegal for Ben Affleck to play Batman, or any other superhero, for 200 years. I’m sure officials would have gotten to it if the government hadn’t shut down. Bummer.
It comes as no surprise that this isn’t the first time critics have vehemently opposed a movie’s casting choice. What’s awesome is when the critics turn out to be wrong.
Here are five examples:
5. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine (X-Men)
Initially, the role of Wolverine was offered to Russell Crowe, who turned it down and recommend relative unknown Hugh Jackman. Fans were just a little bit perturbed at the choice and questioned Jackman’s experience. Now, thirteen years and six films later, Wolverine is Hugh Jackman.
4. Daniel Craig as 007 (Casino Royale)
Fans of the James Bond franchise went berserk when Daniel Craig was chosen to replace Pierce Brosnan. Some even dubbed him, “James Blond.” Craig went on to prove the haters wrong with a stunning performance in Casino Royale.
Since then, the three 007 installments starring Daniel Craig have become the highest grossing Bond films of all time.
3. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games)
When Jennifer Lawrence nabbed the coveted lead in The Hunger Games adaptation, some were skeptical. One review even criticized Lawrence for her “lingering baby fat.”
In the end, The Hunger Games generated $691 million worldwide and is poised to rake in even more cash when the sequel, Catching Fire, releases this November. The film owes much of its success to Lawrence’s deep, commanding performance.
2. Michael Keaton as Batman (Batman)
Long before Ben Affleck donned the cape and cowl, Keaton played the iconic Dark Knight. Keaton, known for his comedic roles, didn’t exactly seem like the physical specimen for the part, standing only five-feet and nine-inches tall.
When the movie hit theaters, Keaton’s height became a non-factor. The critics apologized and some (even Quentin Tarantino) have now gone as far as calling Keaton the “best” Bruce Wayne to date.
1. Heath Ledger as the Joker (The Dark Knight)
The backlash over this casting choice seems humorous now. Fans were outraged and some even vowed not to see the movie. All of that changed when the first trailer hit.
Heath Ledger’s Joker is now known as one of the greatest villains of all time. His performance was even good enough to earn him an Oscar posthumously.
As history shows, over and over again, critics are just critics. There was a time when I was told I’d never make it as a writer. Now look at me. I have at least two people who read my blog on a daily basis (big shout out to my wife and my mom!). I don’t think we have to be dishonest about our skills, but if we fail at something it should be because we at least tried. Not because critics told us we’d never make it. Is it your dream to write a book? Write it. Even if it only sells two copies (to your wife and mom) at least you went for it. Want to start your own business? Be financially smart, but do it.
Accept honest feedback from those who love you, but also realize that jealous people love to be critical.
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be the next Wolverine.
What!? You can’t be serious. You could never take Hugh Jackman’s place!
A version of this article by Wade Bearden originally appeared on RESNation.com.