Five Reasons Why Ben Affleck as Batman is a Spectacular Idea

Unless you have been living under a rock or been out of range of any Wi-Fi connections, it’s safe to assume you’ve heard the news that Ben Affleck will be playing Batman in The Man of Steel sequel, tentatively titled Batman vs. Superman. We knew that Warner Brothers was looking for a man over 40 to don the cowl that Christian Bale recently retired, and Affleck’s name has been in the running since February, but it still comes as a surprise that Affleck is actually the one to beat out names like Josh Brolin, Richard Armitage, and even Ryan Gosling. I’m even more surprised about how I am trying to process the fact that the man who once destroyed a genre with Daredevil will be playing my all time favorite superhero, but completely floored that I am absolutely in love with the idea. To help settle my excitement, I list five reasons why Affleck as Batman is a spectacular idea.

The Dude Can Act

Ben Affleck has been on a tear in the past decade, completely turning his acting career around while at the same time, taking on duties behind the camera as a director. In some magical combination of the two, Affleck has found his place in Hollywood and has solidified himself as one of the best filmmakers and actors working today. It’s a great story, especially for those of us who never gave up on the man when his career seemed to be nothing more than a sub-par string of performances in bloated, unnecessary movies. And, with this new energy and excitement surrounding the man, he’s been able to appear in other flicks that are not his own like State of Play, The Company Men, and To the Wonder, in which he delivers an outstanding performance in each film.

Affleck fits the role of Batman, especially considering that the film will focus on an older, more worn Batman, whose fighting over the years have made him a veteran in the war against crime. This is a hero who has seen some shit and is one mad motherf**ker you’d hate to have a run in with on the streets of Gotham. Affleck, assuming he puts on some pounds for the role, can play that slightly unhinged character who is ready to snap. But, an older Batman isn’t all about the rage as more time fighting criminals has made the hero even wiser. Besides a few of his past career choices, I have never looked at Affleck and thought he was dumb. In fact, I think he’s one of the smartest people in the business and seeing him bring some of that hard earned street cred to a role like Batman is very exciting.

Plus, Affleck would have a blast as the billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne.

The Backlash is Similar to What We Have Seen Before

Remember when Heath Ledger was announced as The Joker? Big studios put so much of their money into these superhero flicks that they are not just going to cast anyone in these big roles. There’s a reason for everything and in the end, it almost always pays off. In Warner Brothers we trust?

Warner Brothers and DC Have Secured One Hell of a Talent

While it’s never been pointed out specifically, I think there’s a big casting war going on behind the scenes at Marvel/Disney and DC/Warner Brothers. There are a handful of talents that I’m sure each house are looking to snag as their own, as you can’t have the same person playing major characters in each universe. It’s just wrong.

With Warner Brothers securing Affleck, they not only have a great man to play Batman, but they also get to keep him in house for any future projects they may need him for. A while ago, it was rumored that WB offered Affleck the chance to direct The Justice League, but unfortunately he turned it down. Now I don’t see Affleck changing his mind on directing, but I can see him taking on a smaller DC property in the long run, just as Marvel is planning on doing with phase three of their universe building.

I also hope that having Affleck on board of Batman vs. Superman will allow a collaboration between him and director Zach Snyder that helps each other out. Affleck did a fine job with action sequences in The Town, but I don’t think he has the eye (quite yet) to do a big scale fight sequence with destruction left and right, something Snyder is very comfortable with. On the other end of the spectrum, Snyder is almost entirely style over substance and I hope that the two’s relationship will make the other one stronger as a filmmaker. I mentioned earlier that Affleck is one of the smartest people in the industry, and I don’t expect him to sit by and let a “meh” film be made around him.

 He’s a Two Time Oscar Winner

Yes, yes, I know that neither one of his Oscar wins were in an acting category, but it still has Affleck demanding a lot more respect than most actors. It’s also worth pointing out that Affleck has won in the two times he has been nominated, setting his track record at a whopping 100%. And now he’s Batman.

Superhero movies usually make an actor a household name. Rarely do we see someone everyone is already so familiar with choose to take that “step back” and don a mask, cape, and utility belt. Very few people knew who Christian Bale was before Batman Begins and Robert Downey Jr’s career was pretty much resurrected with Iron Man. But everyone knows who Ben Affleck is and it leaves him with even more to surprise us.

Why Do We Fall, Master Wayne?

The best news stories in the movie world are the ones that receive the most backlash and spark the most conversation. These are some of the best times to write about film and seeing how the world reacted to the news of Affleck’s casting only makes the story more exciting. Polarizing ideas are usually the best when it comes to energizing those involved to prove the naysayers wrong. Affleck is fully aware of the pressures of taking on the role and I think him seeing the criticism that’s popping up left and right will only turn his performance into something even better.

It’s also worth mentioning that we will be getting a Batman that we have never seen before. He’s old, he’s tired, and has a lot less shits to give. Don’t you think with this new Batman we should have someone we’d never expect to take on the role? Also with Affleck, he has even more pressure with having to live with the fact he starred in Daredevil, a superhero movie most consider to be one of the worst ever made. The fact that Affleck is willing to turn to a genre that killed his career has a lot of weight to it and should be considered before you start criticizing the casting decision. Affleck auditioned for the role; it wasn’t just handed to him. He wanted this.

Call me optimistic. Call me a fanboy. Call me whatever you like. This news is spectacular and I cannot wait to see how it all turns out.

What do you think of the news? Have any of my points been able to change your opinion on the casting? Leave your thoughts below.

Written By Nick

Nick is a man obsessed with all things related to film. From the most obscure to the very popular, he’s seen it all and hopes to one day turn his obsession into a career that makes a lot of money so he can buy a monkey, a bulldog, and a full size Batman suit.

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  • Margaret

    Sorry, couldn’t disagree more. Ledger has established many times before that he could act and the movie was directed by Nolan. Affleck is not only far from being a good actor but with Snyder, who can’t even direct Diane Lane and Russel Crowe to good performance this is going to be very bad. Affleck would be a fine director for the film but the idea of him playing Batman is just ridiculous.

  • Haters gonna hate. I’m enthusiastically optimistic about it and very excited about what’s to come. I mention above that Affleck and Snyder have a lot they can learn from each other and I hope that it actually plays out behind the scenes in the sequel.

  • R Voza

    She’s right.

  • R Voza

    Not sure why my phone insisted on a gravatar.

  • Shane

    Amen, my friend. I really want this to work so bad. He is bigger than Henry Cavill and the biggest Batman physically that we have seen. Which is how he should be. He did Daredevil, and admittedly Fucked that up. He has only gotten better. Plus, I think with being a director now he’ll have more to add. Michael Keaton seemed like a bad idea as well. It’s going to be more than fine.

  • Margaret

    I’m not a hater, Nick. i know it’s the easiest to put labels on people, but come on. I think Affleck is a great director but honestly I haven’t seen him deliver a performance with any charisma in it. Even in his own movie, The Town, he was the weak link I think he is a likable guy but Batman needs to be mysterious and magnetic and he can’t do that.

    And if Snyder couldn’t make good movie when Nolan was supervising him, I don’t think he can ever make a good film.

  • Writing and directing Oscars don’t really count when someone’s hired as an actor. And let’s take Argo, Affleck was decent there, yet his performance still was the weakest of the cast. Also, does he strike anyone as physically intimidating or a guy 10 steps ahead of everyone else?

  • He plays angry well and I think this Batman will be a lot angrier and more cynical, which I think Affleck has a lot to pull from to be like that. He’s also really tall- 6’3 and if he packed on the pounds (more so than The Town), I think he’ll be a lot more intimidating. Also, if they stick with The Dark Knight Returns, we’ll see more Batman than Bruce Wayne. Anyone in a Batsuit is intimidating.

  • Woo.

  • I don’t think Nolan was as involved in the film as we’re lead to believe. Given how Man of Steel turned out, I can’t really find Nolan too close to the flick. I think his name involvement was more so for our sake’s than his. And I disagree about The Town, I thought he carried the film and did a great job. I touch upon it above, but I’ve never been a hater of Affleck so seeing his career turn around and lead to this is just exciting. And you should know that I’m one of the biggest Batman fans out there.

  • ruth

    Hey you used the same photo I did on my post (that first one) 😀 I agree w/ the last commenter that writing and directing kudos doesn’t equal ACTING capabilities. In fact, I still think Affleck is a far better actor than director and yes, he was the weakest of the cast of ARGO, totally agree on that front as well.

    That said, IF they’re going with THIS kind of Batman “Old, tired, and has a lot less shits to give.” then maybe Affleck IS the right man for the job, ahahaha.

  • I know, right? He fits the role brilliantly. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks for the comment.

  • ruth

    Yep, I’m much more on board IF they replace Snyder w/ Affleck as director!

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    Thing is, while Affleck is a fine actor, there’s just nothing exciting about him squaring off opposite Henry Cavill. It’s just a dark-haired, mainstream, handsome Hollywood actor opposite another dark-haired, mainstream, handsome Hollywood actor.

    I personally would have loved to see an older Batman, and someone like Mel Gibson giving him that fantastically cocky demeanor opposite the Messianic Superman.

  • Gibson fighting a Jesus figure? There’s so much wrong (yet awesome) about that.

  • Erlingur Grétar Einarsson

    Just think about it. I’d watch the fuck out of that.

  • Dan O’Neill

    I like these points and I see where you’re coming from, but I honestly cannot be happy about this. Yes, Ben’s a capable actor, but he’s just too big a name for this role. At least Bale wasn’t huge to where we could see him playing Bruce Wayne, and not Patrick Bateman. Everybody knows Ben Affleck, and if they don’t, watching him as Batman probably won’t give them the full-picture of who he is. Oh well. It’s a reality. Have to live with it now.

  • Rodney

    Sorry Nick, but I’m still not sold on Affbat, Batfleck or whatever meme name this is going to be henceforth. I agree with much of your sentiment, that Affleck is a solid, proven performer but he needs the right material, and I’m doubtful Batman is it. I hope and pray that I’m wrong (I was wrong about Heath Ledger, so it’s not impossible that my feelings of dread about this are incorrect), and I’ll be holding my reservations back until I see the final film (or at least a trailer with him in it) but let’s just say, I’m worried.

  • Rodney

    Me too. Damn, that’d be awesome.

  • Rodney

    It’s not just the humans who are upset by this news?

  • You and seemingly everyone else. I think it’s exciting and I cannot wait to see some footage. Hell, all of you could easily be right, but I’m just very optimistic.

  • I can understand that point for sure. It’ll be interesting though.

  • I am apparently the only person, out of the people who contributed to it’s $100+ million box office and subsequent video rental and sales totals, that liked Daredevil…

  • You obviously have not seen his Tour de Force performance in Mall Rats. Sublime.

  • Tom

    Hmmm….extremely thoughtful. You’ve definitely made it a more interesting, exciting proposition with all of these good points. What I personally can’t get past is the usual argument (that his name is simply too big for us to not just see the character as ‘Ben Affleck as Batman’) and the fact that I basically think it’s a big mistake uniting both characters in the NEXT superman movie. I think everything is being too rushed, but hey I’m no studio exec, the one with all the money in my hand ready to throw it to whatever project I like lol. I think the best point you made of all is the last one; the fact that he did so badly as part of that Daredevil disaster and is now WANTING to take on another superhero role. That seems convincing evidence that this top-notch actor is going to throw everything including the kitchen sink at the role, so that’ll most definitely be cool to experience. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. You know these next 2 years are absolutely going to D-R-A-A-A-G by

  • Shane

    No, that’s not true. I like the film. I own it, but it has a lot of issues. Affleck was good though. Just didn’t do justice to the comics, in my opinion… but Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms.

  • Trevor

    Nick, you’re reaching on this one. Really this article just says that you like the idea so it’s a good one, that’s what an opinion piece is sure, but c’mon. Since you said you liked the polarizing aspect of all this nay-saying I’ll be negative Nancy here.

    #1 Affleck can act: How many actors out there can act? Almost all of them. All it takes is an ability to emote. I get it, you like the guy, me too, but like many actors Affleck is Affleck and casting is important in that he himself already has a glimmer of the character in him. For me Affleck doesn’t always feel like he’s in the moment, at times it feels like he’s acting and he knows it.

    #2 Backlash: Just because there was backlash for other castings and it worked out amazingly has no bearing on this news. You’re right that it does make it more interesting and fun to debate when people are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but it has little to do with how well Affleck will be in the flick.

    #3 Securing One Hell of a Talent: Marvel and DC’s casting has been pretty different over the years. More specifically DC is all over the place, pimping out its properties to different directors and really overseeing it as a normal studio would. Whereas Marvel has taken complete control by casting for characters and not for actors. They’ve made it very clear that the characters are more important than the actors playing them – they aren’t afraid to recast, and with their low ball offerings they’ve dug their heels in. Case in point just look at what’s happening with Downey Jr, he’s got them backed into a corner, it’s what they’re trying to avoid. They want to keep their characters as the center piece and the attraction rather than being stuck with movies where the actor is the attraction. As this seems to be the case I doubt Affleck was a steal by Warner Bros, especially, as you mentioned, Affleck is already a WB guy. This argument is also very similar if not the same as #1.

    #4 Two Oscars: How many Oscar winners have turned in bad performances since winning and made bad career choices? All winning the Academy Award means is people in the Academy like you. It’s worth mentioning, but hardly means anything. Halle Barry is probably the go to example here, but let’s look at Kenneth Branagh instead. Nominated five times – so he’s done three more things than Affleck that were at least noticeable to the Academy, on his own turf he’s won three BAFTA’s (one after Thor). Did this make him a good choice for directing Thor?

    #5 Fallen: This is the same argument as #2.

    I’m a fan of Snyder and Goyer, but they really screwed up Man of Steel, so Affleck’s casting to me has little to do with if this movie will be good or not. If Snyder and Goyer do what they did with MoS with SvB then it will be bad no matter what. I’m also just tired of the Nolan fallen superhero stuff, and this looks to be going down that path once again. If anyone felt that fun was what MoS lacked, then how can this casting or any of the other story news about SvB make anyone feel good? I used to hate people for saying this, and I never thought it in the past, but ever since 2010 I’ve felt like Hollywood has simply been throwing money at all their problems and as they ride the foreign gross bubble there’s little to no risk at making a bad movie or spending $200+m on movies. Once this bubble pops though, they’re gonna have a hell of a hole to dig themselves out of.

  • I guess that came off accusatory towards you, there is just always hate for that movie but it did well at the box office I guess is all I was trying to say. The worst thing about it was that stupid Evanescence song. Phantoms like a mother f*cker!

  • I agree that the film is rushed, but it’s still happening so we all have to come to terms with that. I would have definitely preferred a Man of Steel 2 with a Batman cameo instead of this Batman vs. Superman stuff, but it’s inevitable at this point. Thank you for pointing out that last bit as well. I thought it was a good point to take it home with. Daredevil ruined his career, yet he’s willing to return to the superhero world? That’s gotta be saying something.

  • You make great counter points and I can’t really argue them but I think that’s the fun with casting news like this. While it’s all speculation at this point, we can’t really judge the other’s opinion until we see how it all turns out. I am excited about the news, yes, more so than most just because I think it’s a ballsy and interesting idea. The article, obviously, was playing up on the devil advocacy idea and I’m glad it’s gotten these conversations started.

    I also agree with the foreign gross bubble. It’s very frustrating with most flicks, where as it can do shit here and make a ton aboard (Smurfs, etc), but I am also glad it can do wonders for original films like Pacific Rim. It gives the movie some legs abroad and rewards the stuff I want to see more of. So kudos on that regard.

  • Trevor Anderson

    Ya it makes for interesting conversations I’d agree. For me Pacific Rim is part of the problem. The story and script are crap, and just because its a b movie doesn’t mean they were meant to be bad. They threw money at it, that’s really the only reason it’s worth seeing though. Del Toro without studio supervision I haven’t liked. When you take big budget vs constraint, hands down the constrained filmmaker will make far better choices, mainly because he’s forced to actually make choices and look at his work. If we Just green light all ideas and put through movies or say something’s good because of the money on the screen rather than the actual story… Not that it matters, we like what we like. I was a big fan of Prometheus, even though it was flawed in the same ways as Pacific Rim, at least it aspired to be something more.

  • Gotta go with Trevor on this one… I think casting for this as attention grabbing… To give the film some publicity and some actor weight behind it..

    Trevor has written a good rebuttal piece with his comment…

  • Brittani

    You brought up good points, but man I just cannot be fully on board with this. I think Affleck is a far better director than he is an actor. He’s always just been an average actor to me. I’m just trying to not get my hopes up. I’ll give it a chance, because I love Batman, but Christian Bale just set that bar too damn high in my opinion.

  • I love Bale too, but that can’t mean no one else can play Batman. This one will be a lot different than Bale’s, so it’ll be exciting to see the take on the character.

  • He definitely has a solid argument.

  • The Director’s Cut is a lot better than the theatrical release.

  • The Dork Portal

    Everyone gives Daredevil such a bad rap. It’s not terrible, and the storytelling is hardly the actor’s fault. He played Matt Murdock. He played Daredevil. The combination has its similarities to Batman. And that was so long ago at this point. Surely he’s grown in his craft since then.

    I have no qualms with the decision. Could they have casted someone better? Maybe. But I’m a “let’s see how this plays out” kinda guy.

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  • Bigg_inDC

    All good points. I don’t think that Ben is a horrible choice though I was surprised at the selection.

  • i was surprised to but unlike 99% of the internet, I love the idea. It’s exciting lol

  • Daredevil was forever ago too. A lot has changed in the industry, especially with Affleck’s career.

  • fernandorafaelquinterocastaeda

    Amen, brother!

  • Nice write up. I really don’t get the argument of people who hated him as Batman. I am sure he’s not going to be any worth then others 🙂

  • Sverrir Sigfússon

    I’m not completely decided on Affleck just yet, but I’m leaning towards a more positive slant. At the very least people need to calm down, this is after all outrage over a performance that doesn’t exist yet.

    Also, I wish people could stop harping on him for Daredevil. Yes, it wasn’t good but it was 10 years ago. He’s grown tremendously since then and in fairness the film’s lack of quality wasn’t really his fault (so saying he “destroyed a genre” seems rather hyperbolic, especially since the genre wasn’t destroyed, not even slightly), as much as it was Mark Steven Johnson’s.

  • I hope they let Snyder do the action sequences his way like in 300 or The Watchmen.

  • I may have been a little over the top with the destroying of a genre, but it’s how many people view Daredevil and what he did so I figured I’d run with it. And it’s a good point it was 10 years ago. A LOT has changed. Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Affleck getting to try his hand at the script as well is enough for me to be excited. Guy can falt-out write.

  • Exactly!

  • Well, the cinemtographer who did 300 and Watchmen did not do Man of Steel. He IS returning for Man of Steel 2 though. So I’m hoping we’ll get to see Superman and Batman fighting in slow motion.

  • Nortia

    I REALLY love this man. I totally agree with you saying that he is one of the most intelligent guys in the industry and when you pointed out that he may have a hand in the making of the film I almost fainted. And I loved Argo so yes, I totally give him a chance, although I wouldn’t have chosen him at first seeing who were the candidates. VERY EXCITED!