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Former Batmen take to Twitter in Ben Affleck's defense

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Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer

There's no way to avoid saying it: the public reaction to Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman hasn't been pretty. Fan outrage has spread across Twitter, even leading to a slew of petitions asking Warner Bros. to change its mind — one of which has already amassed more than 44,000 signatures. But as The Hollywood Reporter points out, a number of actors and filmmakers are asking fans to wait and take a deep breath — and some are speaking from personal experience.

Val Kilmer, who donned the cape and cowl in 1995's Batman Forever, told audiences to "Give Ben a chance!" on Twitter, while the original television Batman — Adam West himself — provided some tips for dealing with the suit ("Remember Ben, with the cape and cowl comes great responsibility (and lots of heat)," he wrote. "Bring deodorant."). While there's been no public word from George Clooney as of yet, he did produce Affleck's Oscar-winning Argo, so he can certainly serve as a resource if Affleck needs one.

Of course, neither Kilmer nor West are remembered fondly by fans of Christopher Nolan's darker trilogy, so it's likely the words of Joss Whedon that will do the best job of generating goodwill. "Affleck'll crush it," Whedon wrote on Twitter. "He's got the chops, he's got the chin — just needs the material. Affleck & Cavill toe to toe — I'm in."