Why Ben Affleck Said Yes to ‘Batman’; Is He Directing ‘Justice League’ Too?

The studio may hire Affleck to both star in and direct the ensemble, with the actor signed on for a number of Batman appearances.

Find out why Ben Affleck said yes to starring as Batman in Man of Steel 2
Find out why Ben Affleck said yes to starring as Batman in Man of Steel 2
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the details behind Ben Affleck's decision to play Batman in Man of Steel 2, news that took the movie-loving world by storm yesterday. According to the excerpt below, Ryan Gosling was the man wanted for the job, but he refused to accept an offer because he dislikes sequels. They next went to Ben Affleck, who was reluctant to take the role. It took a lot of convincing, but here we are with the story of the year. It is also revealed that the actor has signed a multi-picture deal. If Man of Steel 2 (known in some circles as Batman Vs. Superman, though an official title hasn't been announced yet) is a hit, we can expect to see Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League, which he may also direct. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this whole story is that he turned down 20th Century Fox's planned reboot of Daredevil.

Read what THR had to reveal about the casting coup of the decade.

"Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the process began earlier this year when director Zack Snyder had finished working on Man of Steel with producer Christopher Nolan. Snyder and the studio already had ideas for a follow-up, and Zack Snyder reached out to Ben Affleck to check the star's interest.

It's unclear when these talks began. Multiple sources say the studio approached Josh Brolin, as well as other actors. Ryan Gosling was also a possibility, but the actor dislikes the idea of sequels.

But Ben Affleck was curious, and initial talks focusing on story and character began. Once Ben Affleck was satisfied, WME's Patrick Whitesell and Ziffren Brittenham's Sam Fischer began negotiating his role in the Superman sequel. Sources say that Ben Affleck has been signed for multiple other movies. The talks were so secretive that many Warner execs and most WME agents remained unaware of their existence.

On one level, Ben Affleck's return to superheroes seems bewildering. The Oscar-winning co-writer of Good Will Hunting drew scorn after donning the red suit for Daredevil, and later agreed it wasn't his best work. After he'd recovered and turned in a bravura performance directing and starring in The Town, Fox offered him the chance to direct and star in a Daredevil reboot -- but Ben Affleck turned it down.

More recently, Christopher Nolan offered Ben Affleck the chance to direct Man of Steel. Ben Affleck declined, seemingly because of a desire not to return to the world of capes -- despite being an avowed comic book fan.

Because since it's considered a sequel to Man of Steel and not a Batman movie, any potential underperformance issues won't ultimately land on his shoulders.

The deal also potentially lines Ben Affleck up to star in and direct Warner Bros.' answer to Marvel's The Avengers: The eventual Justice League movie."

As revealed yesterday, Producer Greg Silverman had this to say about the casting choice.

"We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics' most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack Snyder will bring new dimension to the duality of this character."

Zack Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Ben Affleck, noting,

"Ben Affleck provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry Cavill's Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can't wait to work with him."

As we reported earlier today, the news lead to several angry fans launching online petitions against the casting, along with several memes. Where do you stand on this debate? Yay or nay for Ben Affleck as Batman?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters March 25th, 2016 and stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons. The film is directed by Zack Snyder.

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Comments (46)

  1. Bane5000

    @Number1Wolverine ...Well with recent reports that the Batman we will be getting is described Tired and Weary...Im hoping that means he has been around for a long while, been in a few battles with villain already over time and that he has been trained for many years now :]

    2 years agoby @bane5000Flag


    @bane5000 - I concur. I honestly still don't think we will get a full fledged martial artist simply because of Snyder style of directing, but hopefully I'm proving wrong.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  3. CoreyB

    @bane5000 see i loved the suit that he switched to in middle of TDK i thought it looked much better. I did like the suit in Begins tho. Some people dont like it but Nolan made it as grounded as he could...even tho sometimes it did look like a comic book movie like him jumping off a building and using his cape to fly around...lol. but yeah thats why he wasnt doing backflip kicks n sh*t. But I see your point how in the comics he is unstoppable alot. Just Nolan being Nolan and I dug it for sure! Again...cant wait to see what Affleck can bring to the role tho I do think this is all too soon.

    2 years agoby @CoreyBFlag

  4. Bane5000

    @CoreyB...Naw man, if it sucked i wouldnt own the blu ray trilogy set, posters, bobbleheads, and other various merchandise :D

    Im just saying Batman lacked what u would think a trained martial artist could do during fights and hope to see a more agile and experienced fighter in the upcoming films and they should've kept him in his BB suit longer, I think it was better then the armor plated suit we got for TDK/TDKR

    2 years agoby @bane5000Flag

  5. CoreyB

    @bane5000 o r u another one who claims tdktrilogy sucked??? theres still a few of yas out there huh?

    2 years agoby @CoreyBFlag

  6. Bane5000

    @Number1Wolverine...The suit was bland and Batman's fighting style was bland...Hopefully Snider and Co. gives a new suit closer to ur pic or to the comics and full fledged martial artist with Batman's fighting style this time around :]

    2 years agoby @bane5000Flag


    @bane5000 - Thanks, I'm glad you agree. As I was one of the few who find the Nolan bat suit to be very flat, and bland.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  8. rjh094

    The more I look at him, the more I can "imagine" him as Bruce Wayne/Batman, but my goodness it's a stretch

    2 years agoby @rjh094Flag

  9. Bane5000

    @Number1Wolverine ...Affleck's suit should look like the one u posted the link for, give it a mix of both grey and black and actually make the bat symbol on his chest noticeable.

    2 years agoby @bane5000Flag


    @themoviefanatic - Still hurt over the failure of Daredevil.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  11. Sean

    @masterofthemoon I know, right ?!

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  12. Sean

    @Number1Wolverine Why did he turn it down during then ?

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  13. Sean

    @bane5000 I couldn't agree more :) .

    2 years agoby @themoviefanaticFlag

  14. Mieko_Siede

    Look at it like this. We never saw Robert Downey Jr. as a superhero until he played Iron Man. No one thought of Michael Keaton as a caped crusader until he donned the rubber mask. Who thought many of these coveted roles portrayed by stars under the radar could pull it off? There were just as many failures as there were successes. But the greatest surprises often came from those we least expected. Ben Affleck's blunder that was Dare Devil wasn't completely his fault. But it was something he could learn from. At the time that movie had come out there were so many films of that genre trying to find their way that there wasn't quite a formula to work from as yet. Affleck has what it takes to make a convincing Bruce Wayne/Batman come to life on screen. We don't have to suffer a backstory again. He gets to just set into the groove of the role and bring a Dark Knight that we haven't quite seen on screen as of yet. Given the style of direction this movie will move in under the lead of Zack Snyder there is no reason for this not to be incredible.

    2 years agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  15. Mieko_Siede

    @gumperman I agree with that logic.

    2 years agoby @mieko-siedeFlag

  16. gumperman

    I knew it! Remember when Movieweb posted a story about this very same subject a little more than a year ago, to direct JUSTICE LEAGUE? movieweb/news/justice-league-of-america-eyes-director-ben-affleck As you will see, Affleck said he only directs movies that he acts in. Well now that he is Batman, there's no reason why he wouldn't direct JUSTICE LEAGUE and I bet he's already been hired. We just don't know about it yet. I also bet Affleck had been cast as Batman since August of last year, and we all just found out about it now.

    2 years agoby @gumpermanFlag

  17. Joshua Hollaway

    Who cares what you people think, in the end you will pay to see it. So it is a win for them. Sit!

    2 years agoby @Joshua-HollawayFlag

  18. OhhmeohhMy

    People. Shut with the negativity please. Chris Evans played Johnny storm and that was awfull. And he turned out perfect for captain america. And I don't recall bull about that. I find Andrew Garfield to be a better Spider-Man that Toby. But then again this are my options. Hallie berry played catwomen and that was cat-litter. But she is great as storm. People did not give her bull or that. But Ann Hathaway did a good Rendition of catwomen. People did not give her crap. So I say again with love and compassion. And this is just tough love. "Shove It". Ha

    2 years agoby @OhhmeohhMyFlag

  19. masterofthemoon

    People back in the 80's complained when Keaton was first cast as Batman, when they saw the film they praised him, now Afflack is getting it from new morons who think they know how to cast roles for movies when all they are good for is being a mindless zombie in front of their Tv's, computers and cell phones! Give Ben a chance, you never know he may surprise you and then you will praise him!

    2 years agoby @masterofthemoonFlag

  20. Alexander

    you never know this could be great... alot of people were complaining about bale when they announced he was batman even with heath ledger but they proved alot of people wrong....I my self have no problem with Ben Affleck being batman nor Directing JLA... I have a feeling that he is going to surprise everyone....... with the batsuit I hope they go with Black and Grey or something like the Arkham City game..... ITS BETTER THAN BAT_NIPPLES FROM JOEL SCHUMACHER!!!!

    2 years agoby @nerdgasmtimeFlag

  21. littlerivers

    I kind of love this casting. It's so out of left field but also very on point at the same time. And if this nets Affleck the chance to direct any DC Studios properties such as Justice League, then DC finally has someone to match What Joss Whedon has done for Marvel. From what Man of Steel looked like and felt like, we're going to have a much moodier and intense Justice League. It won't be as witty and humorous and The Avengers, and personally, I think that's a good thing. As great as Avengers was, it's important for DC to distance their ensemble superhero film from Marvel's. Affleck, if directing, will certainly do that.

    2 years agoby @littleriversFlag


    @instead8909 - I hope not, I couldn't stand that suit. Hoping they go with something a little more appealing, and closer to the comics like this http://j-k-k-s.deviantart.com/art/Batman-MKIII-Suit-Tech-Version-145719165.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag


    @themoviefanatic - It's awesome that you mention Ben for Nolan Batman, because he actually was asked to audition but turned it down.

    2 years agoby @Number1WolverineFlag

  24. WongFu

    I guess I should see it but I hope the suite is more like the one Bale wore.

    2 years agoby @instead8909Flag

  25. Jacob89

    you guys need to realize he is a brilliant actor who has matured so much let it go he will do it justice he is best mates with kevin smith he fricken rights batman lol trust in affleck he is the man :D

    2 years agoby @jacob89Flag

  26. Vanboy

    I really liked Affleck's Argo. His directing and great acting cannot be denied. The seventies vibe was captured very well (loved the Star Trek and Star Wars figures at the end) and the tension could be cut with a knife. But Affleck as Batman might very well be a sign of "The End of Days". He better bring it!

    2 years agoby @vanboyFlag

  27. Zak Lee Ferguson

    To don the cape and helm a feature film wont slow Ben down, and i think its great that Affleck did such a tremendous job with The Town studios and more realized his potential. yes Affleck is the least of the strongest candidates but with his current resume and all, he has proven a solid attribute to cinematic landscaping as of this moment in time. DareDevil though was not Afflecks weakest point, it going grew a negative shell and ensconced it down to angry negative preachers who wanted a different actor and an amass- officialised it- made it stoic that he was a bad Matt Merdock, but i have seen him perform way worse (Dogma anyone?) And as Batman is not the leading link in this SUPERMAN FILM- would just like to get that out, it makes sense he will have more grandiose to go at, as Henry's portrayal as the heroic someone to work from that and his line of work and experience has allowed him to grow, in Runner Runner he look fitted for the subtle nut-case and proving he's moving away from being type-cast. I have utter and almost an inexorable great faith in this MAN OF STEEL sequel. Affleck did not run for the hills due to Man of Steel job offer, I just don't think he had found it in himself yet to overlook the nasty fan boys out there and just do it as he feels fitting for his career.

    2 years agoby @Zak-Lee-FergusonFlag

  28. the Narrator

    @ObiWanShinobi Word. People are f*cking fickle on their praise...

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  29. Corey W.

    I think Affleck will be an awesome Batman---it's Bruce Wayne's performance from him that I'll be waiting on watching. I wonder if he'll be able to handle that.

    2 years agoby @coreyFlag

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