As the United States remembered the tragic events of September 11, 2001 yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the nation's premier newspaper, the New York Times, to deliver a blunt and honest message to the American people about a matter of great international importance: the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in Warner Bros. upcoming Man of Steel sequel, Superman vs. Batman.
"Relations between us have passed through different stages," Putin explained in the long essay, referring to Russia and the United States' history from World War 2 through the Cold War. "We stood against each other on whether Michael Keaton could play a convincing Batman."
"But we were allies once also," he continued, "and together we agreed that Batman Forever was the worst piece of crap ever put to film."
Putin went on to make a strong case against putting the portrayal of DC Comics' most popular hero into the hands of the man who stunk up the screen in Daredevil, Gigli, and the abysmal Jersey Girl.
"I want to speak directly to the American people and remind them that Affleck has won four Golden Raspberry awards, and he's been nominated for nine," the president went on to say.
Putin's decision to address the American public as a foreign leader is unprecedented in recent memory, especially when it comes to superhero movie casting. The last time a foreign despot did anything remotely similar was the open letter in the Washington Post from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi expressing doubt that Sean Connery could satisfactorily reprise his role as James Bond in 1983's Never Say Never Again, twelve years after he had been replaced by Roger Moore in Live and Let Die. In that instance, Gaddafi turned out to be correct.
As for Putin, he views his role as one of peacemaker, upholding the standards of international law. "From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialog encouraging Hollywood to cast a suitable actor in the role of the caped crusader. We are not protecting Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I know he is too small to be Batman."
"I just don't think I can take seriously a Bruce Wayne with a strong Boston accent," he concluded. "And the American people do not want that either."
As of press time, Warner Bros. and DC Comics had not responded to Putin's calls for dialog and plan to press forward on the film with Affleck in the role, whether or not they are able to form a coalition of willing allies to support them.