Jamie Dornan Is Right About Fan Backlash

L-R: Jamie Dornan and Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield arrive on the red carpet of the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at the Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Mark Von Holden / A.M.P.A.S.)

Jamie Dornan is right about fan backlash over the casting of Daniel Craig and Robert Pattinson as James Bond and Batman, respectively.

We see this every time that studios announce their lead actor for a James Bond, Marvel, DC, or Star Wars movie. The fan backlash needs to stop. I mean it! What I encourage fans to do is just be patient and reserve judgement until after watching the movie. Films tend to be more rewarding when you just go into them while carrying an open mind.

Dornan’s comments came during an interview with Esquire. The actor himself is a top contender to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond. If Dornan is indeed the next Bond, I’m perfectly willing to give the actor a chance. We should all withhold our judgement until after we see the movie. And no, the trailers are not enough footage to judge how an actor will do in the film. Dornan saw the backlash that Daniel Craig, Andrew Garfield, and Robert Pattinson went through.

“Prejudgment is such a fucking disease,” he says thinking about their shared experience. “It’s a disease in all our culture. In my line of work, sure. But in general, people prejudge people based on fucking anything really, and it’s very sad. Look at the reaction when Rob got cast as Batman. It was like 90 percent negative. Daniel Craig got cast as James Bond—I mean that was 100 percent negative. It was vile what was written. It was actually disturbing when you see the fucking venomous anger that people have over casting decisions. And then guess what? Daniel Craig is fucking brilliant, and it changes the whole energy of Bond. All the naysayers love what Rob has done with Batman.”

The Batman
(L-R) JEFFREY WRIGHT as Lt. James Gordon and ROBERT PATTINSON as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure “THE BATMAN,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Listen, I never saw a single Twilight film but I knew that Pattinson would do a solid job after watching him in films such as The Lost City of Z, Good Time, Damsel, and High Life, among others. When you see those films, you instantly know that Pattinson would be solid as Bruce Wayne. This doesn’t even begin to take into account how solid Matt Reeves is as a director. Reeves is the same filmmaker who directed the Planet of the Apes reboot without a weak link in the trilogy.

The result of Matt Reeves directing Robert Pattinson in The Batman is an epic masterpiece. Three hours of non-stop action and detective work. Listen, I love The Dark Knight and think it’s one of the best comic book movies ever made. The Batman gives The Dark Knight a run for its money. With the film arriving on digital and later on physical media, fans will have plenty of opportunities to decide which film is the best Batman movie.

Pattinson isn’t alone in fans judging him before putting on the Batman cowl. Ben Affleck was also subject to the same treatment. He’s friends with George Clooney so the veteran actor knew exactly what he was getting into upon taking the role.

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale
James Bond (DANIEL CRAIG) in the 007 action adventure CASINO ROYALE, from Metro-Goldwyn Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures through Sony Pictures Releasing.

After Die Another Day nearly killed the James Bond franchise, it was back to basics. They went with a new actor as they decided to take Bond back to his roots. This actor was none other than Daniel Craig. Fans started turning on him almost as soon as he was cast in Casino Royale. You know what? They can eat their crow because after a five-film run, he’s one of the best Bond actors of all time. Say what you will about Quantum of Solace but that film had to deal with complications due to the 2007-08 WGA strike. But anyway, Craig doesn’t fit the mold of Bond because of his height or hair color. He is not Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, or Pierce Brosnan. You know what? This is perfectly fine. All the former Bond stars would give their seal of approval.

The same prejudgement also happened to The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield. Because Marvel decided to bring Peter Parker into the MCU, Garfield never got to see closure for The Amazing Spider-Man franchise. I’m thankful that Spider-Man: No Way Home could give him some closure. Could we see another film starring his Peter Parker? Never say never.

Fan backlash isn’t just immune to comic book movies. We’ve seen it recently when it comes to Disney casting live-action adaptations of their animated films as well as with the casting of The Hunger Games. Both Rachel Zegler and Halle Bailey were both subject to fan backlash with their casting in the upcoming Snow White and The Little Mermaid adaptations. Make no mistake that racism plays a role in the backlash to their casting.

If Jamie Dornan is the next James Bond, please give him a chance. I personally think that Dornan would make a solid Bond if you ask me but I’m not the one doing the hiring. Whoever ends up taking on the Bond role should not have any prejudgement. Nobody should be subject to a vicious backlash from fans!

HBO Max launches The Batman on April 18, 2022.

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.