The character of the Joker has been used in many Batman stories. Iconic or not, did Heath Ledger's Joker character creatively portray the diabolical Joker or did Mr. Ledger mock the iconic character? See a video on scenes from The Dark Knight.
It's in the Internet's nature to rage.
Fizziology data shows that within the first hour of the news arriving online, nearly 100,000 tweets were fired off fanboys, 71% of which were negative.
Someone even had the bright idea of putting up a Change.org petition urging Warner Brothers to recant their casting choice posthaste.
At the time of writing, that petition has gathered over 15,000 signatures.
In short, people are pissed.
For a little perspective on the matter, let's jump in the not-so-way-back machine away from the Superman/Batman film to a little movie called The Dark Knight. Batman's iconic villain The Joker was the major casting decision for that film, and with beloved performances by everyone from Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson and even Mark Hamill as the voice of animated Clown Prince of Crime, fan expectations were high. When Christopher Nolan and Warner Bros (the same people involved in casting Affleck, mind you) announced that Heath Ledger was cast in the role, everyone on the Internet looked into their crystal ball and saw a brilliant, Oscar-winning performance that would change how people viewed this seminal villain, right?
So, maybe the Internet give Affleck a chance to prove himself. Hey, at least his suit won't have nipples.