Hollywood actor Christian Bale has advised the new Batman, Ben Affleck, not to be put off by the internet campaign against his new role.
"Look, there is no middle ground on the internet. It's just extreme feelings. They love you or abhor you. Ben knows that, and I doubt if he spent one minute worrying about it," he added.
Online campaigns against Ben Affleck playing Batman have garnered over 50,000 signatures. The campaigns began after Warner Bros announced that the 41-year-old California-born star would succeed Bale as Gotham City's masked hero.
"I wish him all the best. He's a very experienced actor and film-maker, he'll make it on his own," Bale stated.
He added: "The only thing I said to him is [to] make sure he could take a piss without anyone having to help him. It's a little humiliating. You have to have someone...help you out of the costume in order to be able to do that. So that was my main piece of advice."
Bale played the role over an enormously successful trilogy of Batman films (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises), directed by Christopher Nolan. The 39-year-old Bale has already confirmed he will not return to play Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego.
Batman's next appearance on the silver screen will be in what is being billed as an epic superhero film, Batman vs Superman. The Son of Krypton will be played by Henry Cavill, the star of this summer's big-budget Man of Steel.
John Roden, a Kentucky resident, was one of those who started the online petitions. One of these petitions claims: "His acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he won't do the role justice. He's not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman. His portrayal of Daredevil [in 2003, co-starring Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell and Michael Clarke Duncan] was atrocious and he's not remotely close to an action star. Please find someone else."
Warner Bros have slated the film for release in July 2015.