Ben Affleck as Batman: Why He's the Perfect Dark Knight

After making the disappointing 'Daredevil' in 2003, find out how Ben Affleck spent the next ten years preparing for the role of his lifetime.
Ben Affleck is the perfect Batman in Man of Steel 2
Ben Affleck is the perfect Batman in Man of Steel 2
Like a sonic boom, or the announcement that Heath Ledger was going to play The Joker in The Dark Knight, Warner Bros. dropped the biggest bombshell of the year, trumping the day's earlier news that Bradley Cooper was set to play Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy. That's small potatoes now, knowing that Ben Affleck is set to play the greatest detective of all time.

That's right, Fred O'Bannion from Dazed and Confused is going to be playing Bruce Wayne in Man of Steel 2, and no one saw it coming. That small cameo serves as a clue as to why we'll be looking at Ben Affleck as Batman in 2015. The menace was there at a young age. Ben was the perfect bully, and he brought back some awful memories for nerds everywhere (much as he's doing today). He continued that line of work in Mallrats, playing a real douche that certainly had some very scary qualities. All perfect for when he pulls on that cowl and goes after the common criminal.

Where's your nice guy next door now, huh? Ben Affleck has been preparing for this moment for nearly twenty years!

A lot of names were batted about the Internet, as everyone and their Aunt speculated on who would be jumping behind the seat of the Batmobile. While the call was out that director Zack Snyder was looking for someone older to play millionaire Bruce Wayne, Affleck's name never rose to the surface. Instead, we heard everyone from Josh Brolin, to Ryan Gosling to Jon Hamm. And maybe they would have been good. But none of them are Ben Affleck! He may just have every quality needed for a new, different, unique take on the character as created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.

Its odd that Ben's name never came up, as Warner Bros. has wanted him to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in Justice League for a very long time. And he has a strong working relationship with the company. If the Man of Steel franchise plans to go the Justice League route, of course they needed to go with a good, tested actor to play opposite an unknown like Henry Cavill. It sounds like all the pieces are falling into place for DC Comics move to big screen domination.

Finally!

Right now, Ben Affleck seems to be in the middle, in terms of fan support. Exactly half as many people love this decision as hate it. Hardcore Christopher Nolan fans seem to be weeping the loudest (even despite the fact that the man remains a producer on the project, so he did have some say in this). While other, more open-minded fans are okay with this casting decision. It all really depends on the final product, which we won't see for two more summers. But rest assured, that opening day box office is sure to set some records. And before we get there, maybe we can sway you towards liking, and accepting, and wanting Ben Affleck as your most beloved comic book hero of all time.

Let's face it, looking at the landscape of available talent, WB made a pretty smart choice.

Even though some of you don't think so. Fans have petitioned Warner Bros. to remove the actor from the project: Click Here! There are also plenty of Memes running rampant through the Internet, making great fun of the casting announcement. Want to see some of the best: Click Here!

We're standing on the opposite end of this noise. Here's our argument for why he's the best guy Hollywood has for the role at this moment in time.

1Ben Affleck Understands the Superhero Psyche and The Actors that Play Them


Hollywoodland
Its not been mentioned too much since the news of this casting spread across the globe quicker than the Simian virus. Sure, Ben Affleck has played a superhero before, appearing as the lead in 2003's Daredevil. And some angry fans point to that as why he shouldn't be Batman. The film was a learning process for Ben Affleck. Let's look at it as 'batting' practice, which makes perfect sense, right? At the time, superhero movies were just coming into their own, and the hired actors were the least of Daredevil's problems. It didn't know what it wanted to be, giving Ben room to try new things. He was able to see what did and didn't work, retaining all of that as an actor. Here, removed ten years from Daredevil, the actor has done a sufficient amount of work in perfecting his craft. Look at his decisions after this. Most of the roles he took on were more serious, and dark. He's never played the same guy twice, which plays into the duality of the Bruce Wayne/Batman role. He knows how to be charming, and sweet. Someone people can look up to and love. And as we mentioned in the introduction, he knows how to be a real dick. And Batman is just that. A fucking dick. More importantly, though, and this is what some of you have missed. Ben Affleck has also previously played Superman. Three years after taking on the role of Matt Murdock, the actor jumped into the role of George Reeves, TV's Superman, who died under mysterious circumstance. Not only had Ben Affleck played a superhero, here he was jumping into the skin of a man who was playing the most popular superhero of his time. He studied that half-deranged psyche of fame and wealth, and what being a real superhero to millions of people meant. He's played both sides of the coin. And he was nominated for a ton of awards for that performance. Even though a lot of you have never seen the movie. If any modern actor (besides Hugh Jackman) knows about the ins and outs of playing a superhero, its Ben Affleck.


2Kevin Smith is the Greatest Batman Mentor an Actor Could Have


Kevin Smith
Say what you will about Kevin Smith as a filmmaker, one thing the guy knows is comic books. Especially the character of Batman. He runs a very popular podcast about the subject called Fatman on Batman, which you can listen to right now: Click Here!. He also writes Batman comic books, so he knows the psyche behind the character, and he will be able to serve as the best source of information when Ben begins to form and shape his version of Bruce Wayne. The two are long time collaborators, and it was Kevin Smith who gave the actor one of his first breaks. They've stayed friends for a very long time, and you know that Smith has doused his buddy in Dark Knight folklore like gasoline. No other previous actor has had this kind of wealth of information at his fingertips. Its possible that Christian Bale didn't even know as much about Batman as Ben Affleck does. Its almost as though the actor has been preparing for this ever since he first stepped onto the set of Mallrats. He's basically been groomed to play this role. Like it or not.


3Christian Bale is Not The Greatest Batman


Christian Bale
When Christian Bale was cast in Batman Begins, he wasn't the actor we know today. Neither was the Internet. Though, fans were loud enough to let us all know back then that...Hmm, maybe he wasn't right for the part. Here, 8 years removed from that first film, its obvious that Christian Bale had put his own unique stamp on the character. But is he better than Michael Keaton? Or even Val Kilmer (creator Bob Kane's favorite actor over even Christian Bale)? No! He's not. Nor is he the worst. It's a huge debate that brings all kinds of people into the fold, folks who aren't even comic book fans. In the eye of the beholder, there isn't a greatest Batman. It's not a finite thing. Which means, there can always be a new Batman. Like James Bond. It's a character that can be altered, and changed, and form-fitted to a particular arch-type. He'll always be 'Batman', but certain actors, if they are right for this role, will be able to pull new and wonderful things out of that vast mythology. No one actor has played the character the same way. Ben Affleck is an interesting enough guy that he'll be able to bring something to this debate. He's no better or worse than Christian Bale, he's simply different. A lot different. He's a different kind of actor. He has a different aura surrounding himself. He's not as dark. He'll have a "behind door three" kind of artistic voice in his approach. Which is exactly what we need, someone to pull us away from the Christian Bale Batman that we all know and love today. There needs to be some distance between the actor types, and Ben definitely brings that. Other actors might have mimicked what Bale did. Ben Affleck, on the other hand, will take it 360 degrees to the left. And in establishing a new take on an age-old character, that's exactly what we need. Also, Christian Bale's Batman was never the most interesting thing about those movies. It was always the villains and gadgets that surrounded him. Maybe we're wrong, but isn't Ben Affleck as Batman the most interesting thing Man of Steel 2 (aka Batman Vs. Superman} has going for it right now? Don't deny it.


4Ben Affleck can Put the Detective back in The World's Greatest Detective


The Town
One thing Christopher Nolan's movies are not are detective movies, even though the Batman character is built on that foundation. Sure, that's fine and all, but in making a new, different Bruce Wayne, maybe we can get back to that conceit. And who better to play a great modern day super hero detective than Ben Affleck? Like Batman and the whole comic book genre, Ben also knows the mystery genre, and that will come into play in terms of the Man of Steel 2 storyline functioning on all available levels. Hollywoodland, which we previously mentioned, is a great detective story wrapped up in Superman's bloody cape. Ben has also played a sheriff/detective in Phantoms. And he played the iconic Jack Ryan in The Sum Of All Fears, so he knows his way around a character that has been played by various actors in a mystery surrounding. Daredevil was a detective of sorts. And the roles he's taking on in recent years all fall into a similar category. But it's his work as a director that make us think he knows what he's doing in the mystery genre. Gone Baby Gone is one of the best mystery thrillers of the last decade, while The Town and Argo prove he can bring weight to a serious issue while still playing to the entertainment value of it as a movie. He knows light and dark, and can balance that perfectly. We're just saying, the guy has sleuthing skills to spare.


5Ben Affleck Looks the Part


Argo
Zack Snyder wanted an actor that could put Henry Cavill in his place. He wanted an older actor, a mentor. And at 41, Ben Affleck is the right person to do that. He's eleven years older than Superman. And the milage shows. Sure, Ben Affleck looks great for his age, but he also brings a certain type of baggage, both professionally and personally, that a younger, less tested actor wouldn't be able to manage. Even tough Kal-El can destroy half of Metropolis with just his fists, Ben Affleck looks smart enough to outwit him. And he's cut. The guy has stayed in great shape. We also here that he's already in training, for what should be a pretty sexy chiseled old man. Basically, Affleck is able to check all the boxes on the Batman check list. He's 6'3-12, which is perfect for the suit. He'll tower over the shorter Cavill, giving him some advantage in that department. And Bruce needs all the advantages he can get. You can take issue with the actor's previous roles and acting skills, but there's no denying that his age, build, and screen presence are tailor made for a believable crime fighting veteran faced with mentoring a younger man such as Clark Kent.


6Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill Look Good Next To Each Other


Henry and Ben
This is the last thing we'll say, and it may be the most important. These two actors look good standing next to each other. We haven't seen them act opposite each other yet, so we have no idea about their on-screen chemistry. But visually speaking, we can see that chemistry has a lot of potential. Imagine any of the other names mentioned, and you sense the pairings are a little off. In terms of teaming Henry Cavill up with someone that can play with and against his type is very important, and right now, we can't think of another actor that will be as able to do that as Ben Affleck. Maybe we're wrong.


What do you think? Did we make our case for why Ben Affleck is the perfect Bruce Wayne? Or did we turn into a real, good old fashioned Ben Asslick? Let us know why he still sucks in the comments below.

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Comments (57)

  1. AshesFend

    Thank you. The first day it was publicly announced, I too saw the hatred from my friends. No one wanted Ben Affleck. My first points were exactly the first two points I read in this article, so I don't feel alone.
    Kevin Smith was excited when Ben was cast as Daredevil, but I doubt Kevin would dare allow his friend Ben to mess up Batman, Kevin's favourite (seemingly) character. First thing I told my friends, the first day, was that Kevin Smith will be the real hero and mold Ben into what he really needs to be for this. Mentally, anyhow.
    The second point was he was Daredevil. Few seemed to raise that point alongside the point that he was once portraying an actor portraying Superman. As if playing Superman's George Reeves meant he was a capable Batman. While that may be an advantage, he was Daredevil. The movie sucked. But I don't blame Ben. Daredevil is a man with heightened sense and who trained himself to fight. It's a lesser story, but a relatable one, to Batman. Hell, his dad was killed in an alley and that death pushed him to become Daredevil. He's not rich with a bunch of gadgets, a car, and such. But he had a similar story.

    12 months agoby @ashesfendFlag

  2. Celestialforthcoming

    @Brizzy But I have taken it under my account and began and ended my comment with I, personally, me personally, and my opinion. I understnad what your saying and completely agree but I never reall "threw you under the bus" because I only mention the movie web community on how much we all love movies and love to give our own opinions. and I said, Me personally and My opinion when I said I don't appreciate the author trying to curb us into one side

    1 year agoby @CelestialforthcomingFlag

  3. Mr.K

    @aoshi I'm sorry but the growling was annoying in all the Nolan Batman movies. It wasn't intimidating, it was goofy and obnoxious, it didn't need the growling in the first place. He could have used his normal voice while making it sound threatening as Batman. Hell, Michael Keaton did it with his normal voice as Batman in Tim Burton's version of Batman (which is way superior than Nolan's take on Batman minus The Dark Knight) and look how excellent that portrayal was.

    1 year agoby @mr-kFlag

  4. aoshi

    @mr-k actually the growling worked perfectly in Batman Begins (it WAS intimidating), but then they overdid it for the last two movies for some reason.

    1 year agoby @aoshiFlag

  5. rjh094

    This article is hilarious. Is this a joke? I'm willing to wait until a picture or trailer of Affleck as Batman to judge, but these reasons are horrible. Affleck will have to bulk up and become a total badass to play Batman.

    1 year agoby @rjh094Flag

  6. Paul Whosoever Portell

    #1 has a ridiculous explaination. Ben Affleck was Superman for less than five minutes in a movie that wasn't completely focused on Superheroes. It was a made for TV comedy, and Affleck was told to not take the role seriously. Also, just because he's played a detective in other movies has little to no bearing on whether or not he can play a good Batman.

    1 year agoby @Paul-Whosoever-PortellFlag

  7. Mahonski

    Who do the people think should play Batman? Lets face it, Afleck aint the right choice. In fact I wouldn't have even put him in a top 100 for the role.

    1 year agoby @MahonskiFlag

  8. thedude-abides

    I don't care about any of the reasons listed, but I've been on board with this since the news broke. I think he will be better as Batman than he will Bruce Wayne, but great in both respects.

    1 year agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  9. OhhmeohhMy

    Good points. I'm still open and fine whith this Choice. But people with negativity. Please do remember Chris Evans played Johnny storm in FF. and it was bad to. But he found his footing in Captain America. And he is perfect for that role. So cut Ben a break. And ohh yes forget about people. He will do this role fine.

    1 year agoby @OhhmeohhMyFlag

  10. Ghostman

    Lol...majority of these "points" made are simply based on opinion and not supported by fact.

    The thing is, Affleck can act...just not as Batman. Everyone will be reminded as him being Daredevil. That sh*t is like herpes, never goes away.

    1 year agoby @ghostmanFlag

  11. Mahonski

    This is by far the worst casting ever. Affleck for Batman? Snyder get a grip. You have doomed Man of Steel 2. Sort it out.

    1 year agoby @MahonskiFlag

  12. Ing Demonon Vrosis

    f*ck point 3... 6 is ridiculous and he dont look eleven years older than Superman.

    1 year agoby @Ing-Demonon-VrosisFlag

  13. BERSERKER

    Funny enough while reading this article I remembered Ben was actually ask to play Batman during the casting stages of Begins. Don't know how I forgot that.

    1 year agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  14. BERSERKER

    @ObiWanShinobi - That would just make my day lol.

    1 year agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  15. Zak Lee Ferguson

    f*ck the Kevin Smith bit....could say the same about Daredevil but that didn't change his performance or perspectives did it-see where I'm getting at- it's just fanboy mullah, nothing to do with guidance or more and Smith is a Knoob, makes some good films but is a thorough bred money making idiot.

    1 year agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  16. Zak Lee Ferguson

    here here i agree whole heartedly and i am backing Ben A. all the way, he will bring something different and veer us away from the now cancer diagnosed Bruce Wayne we all love, but this is a new iteration, one that befits the actual Dc-verse so let's see what happens and watch the rain fall and make great patterns on our cinematic landscapes.

    1 year agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  17. Metalsfury

    TAN-A-NAN-NA-NAN-NAN-AFFLECKMAN- Yes it's a parody that Ben Affleck is going to be Batman! But to compare Bale with Affleck, the Gigli star is laughable! Batman puts the fear into anyone that opposites the law and Affleck is going to be his arrogant self! Not a fan of this article and not a fan of this decision! This is the way it is (Affleck will be the worst Batman) Are your utility belts on tight?

    1 year agoby @metalheadfuryFlag

  18. LazerDude

    who is the person who created this trying to convince us or him self

    1 year agoby @lazerdudeFlag

  19. ObiWanShinobi

    At this rate I wouldn't be surprised if Channing Tatum's playing Alfred.

    1 year agoby @ObiWanShinobiFlag

  20. Jacob Calabrese

    im sorry but this is the dumbest f*cking article i've ever read

    1 year agoby @Jacob-CalabreseFlag

  21. arthurg09

    WTF!!!!!!!!! First off the WB tried to do what Disney did with RDJ and pay christian bale $50M just to return as batman so how was he not the best batman?

    1 year agoby @arthurg09Flag

  22. Sean

    @gilbert666 Josh Brolin would have been a great choice for the role of Batman, but that unfortunately did not happen. But, I think Ben Affleck will do just fine playing the as Batman in Man of Steel 2 or Batman/Superman or what ever they decide to name the movie as.

    1 year agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  23. Replicant

    I was already quite happy with the decision but this article makes me even happier. I didn't even think of point #2 till now.

    All you butt-hurt fans are pathetic; you're the same ones who wanted to boycott Casino Royale because Daniel Craig didn't have chest hair and now you're throwing money at the screen hoping for more Skyfall.

    Bale was awesome but Keaton, Kilmer and West WERE ALL AWESOME in there own ways, and worked great for the type of Batman movies they were in. The only Batman I disliked was Clooney, not because the movie was f*cking terrible (it was), but because Clooney can't play the 2 sides of the coin needed to play Batman/Wayne.

    @l4zy Who says they're going to make it less realistic than TDK trilogy? Man Of Steel was as realistic as can be (for a movie about a flying alien). The realistic tone will continue, rest assured.

    @Junior-Titan I actually thought of Gerard Butler playing Batman too! Specially since he's already collaborated with Snyder. He'd be awesome if Snyder adapted The Dark Knight Returns comic in the same style as 300.

    1 year agoby @felipe-11Flag

  24. Lionel Leutz

    i don't agree with nearly this whole article.. bale was was an awesome batman. having afflek play batman is like a sick joke. it's like taking a dump on a huuuuge franchise. guarantee they won't make as much without bale. didn't bale get offered like 50 mil to stay batman?? WHY!!!!! why would anyone turn that down!

    1 year agoby @Lionel-LeutzFlag

  25. Escapist

    I actually think they should have Ben Affleck play a rebooted Green Lantern, or even a Green Arrow

    1 year agoby @escapistFlag

  26. Brizzy

    @Celestialforthcoming "Us in the movieweb community find.."
    Don't throw us all under a buss pal. Take responsibility for your own oppinions without speaking for the rest of us.
    Personally I like this article as it shows an oppinion of a few people. It's like a comment section but with less bullsh*t excuses and sharts.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  27. Escapist

    @Brizzy I'm not hatin', just anticipatin'.

    1 year agoby @escapistFlag

  28. CelluloidDreams

    I'm okay with it. All he needs is Matt Damon as Robin.!

    1 year agoby @2movieguysFlag

  29. Brizzy

    Look at all of that hate below.. F*cking hilarious, you guys are still going to see this movie opening night like the rest of the f*cking world and in the back of your heads, you know that Affleck isn't a bad choice.

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  30. Brian

    @bawnian-dexeus Good call.

    1 year agoby @brianFlag