Debate of the Day: Will Affleck Be the Bomb in Batman, Yo?

affleck batman

Late last night, I heard the news that Ben Affleck was officially taking over Christian Bale’s cowl, and would be the next Bruce Wayne/Batman in the Superman/Batman team-up film “inspired” by The Dark Knight Returns and directed by Zack Snyder.

My initial reaction? Hysterical laughter. Despite all he’s done since, my mind immediately flashed back to Daredevil, one of the worst superhero films of all time. You can say there were many factors leading to this fact outside of Affleck’s performance, but he certainly wasn’t blameless either.

But now that I’ve had some time to digest, this seems like less of a bad idea that I thought. Affleck has performed quite well in recent years, particularly in his own films, The Town and more recently Argo, which actually won Best Picture last year. It would be silly to dismiss him because of Daredevil when he’s now evolved in a much, much more prolific actor (and director).

Part of me is sad however that Affleck WON’T be directing the film. Nothing against Snyder, but Affleck has simply not made a bad film yet, going 3 for 3 with the aforementioned Town and Argo, and before that, Gone Baby Gone. No, there’s no way to know if that skill would translate into a big budget superhero epic, but damn, would I like to see him try.

As for the role itself, Bruce is meant to be a “an older mentor” to the younger Clark. Affleck is 11 years older than Cavill at 41, but they clearly didn’t want to go full Dark Knight Returns where a retired Batman is 60+.

I guess part of my hesitation here is that it’s odd to have such a recognizable face in the role. Thinking about the casting of superheroes in the modern era, the best results come from casting relative unknowns. Wolverine was Hugh Jackman’s big role. Nobody knew who Chris Hemsworth was before Thor. Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, Cavill as Superman, the list goes on. Even Christian Bale wasn’t well known to the general public before his turn as Batman. But Affleck? Well, we all know him. As much as I like say, Brad Pitt, it would be weird to cast him as Aquaman. And Affleck as Batman just seems similarly strange.

So, what do you think? Is Affleck for Batman an odd, solid, good, bad choice for Warner Bros?

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  1. @Lucas – my point exactly, people also hated the idea of Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach if I remember correctly, look how well that turned out.

    I think these movies are taken much more seriously now a days (Compared to the 90s Batman films) and I would be surprised to see him screw up this role. I also think that he’s a better choice than Brolin or Gosling to be honest.

  2. I disinterest lies more with having another Batman movie and the Batman/Superman combo. I know the comics have those together fighting in the Justice league or fighting each other, but…. it’s just fit for me. Giving us another Batman right after Nolan’s trilogy feels like having a new Spider-man movie. The general sense of “we’re doing this again? “

  3. 2 comments:

    Gone Baby Gone is one of the most overrated films IMO, the ending was silly.

    Affleck is too old by a decade. He’s 11 years older than Cavill.

  4. Dear. God. No. Daredevil was actually reasonably good, especially the director’s cut. Change the corny soundtrack, ditch the playground “fight”, and recast Murdock and you’re looking at a pretty great superhero movie. But the fact remains that the worst thing about it by far was Affleck.

    @ Lucas- Ledger was a fairly unknown quality coming into TDK. Everybody just thought of him as that gay cowboy guy and that fueled the initial backlash. But Affleck’s been garbage since forever. The only time I’ve enjoyed him is when he’s playing a douchebag like in Mallrats. Seems like that’s his niche. But hey, it could work this time. Wouldn’t put money on it, though.

  5. @Brian regarding his age- that’s the whole point. They WANT Batman to be much older than Superman.

    Occasional (awful) missteps aside, Affleck has proven his acting chops time and time again. I have no problem with this casting.

  6. Completly agree with you Paul on the recognizable face. Everytime I see a movie with Brad Pitt, I have a hard time believing the character he’s playing, I’m always thinking “hey that’s brad pitt with a funny accent/long hair/a moustache…”. I think it will happen with Batfleck too, unless he keeps the mask during the whole movie but we all know that won’t be the case.

  7. I’m tired of people referencing the Internet’s response to the Ledger choice as Joker. Ledger had yet to make a real name for himself outside of supporting roles. He also completely reinvented the Joker character, something that Affleck cannot do with Wayne/Batman – that role is too defined. At the end of the day, the problem is not Ben Affleck’s acting – it’s Ben Affleck. The guy is an icon who has spent the better part of 2 decades as an A List celebrity. He overshadows the role too much.

  8. I think Ben Affleck could do well in this role. Not to say he will, he could very well bomb the whole thing. But over the last 3 years he’s given us two very good movies, and I know that doesn’t make up for ALL those other “meh” performances he has given. He obviously knows much more about making movies than he used to with these last two movies.

    In both The Town and Argo, he obviously put a lot of work and thought into making those movies and seems to have a better grasp on providing better work than in the past. And if he hasn’t realized it yet, he will know he has a lot of pressure on him to perform well, and with that I think he’ll do everything he can to do something credible with this role.

  9. When I read the news, I couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 15 minutes. Then I started reading the posts about it and laughed a another 15 minutes, mostly because of all the pointless nerdrage and the “Affleck was da bomb in Phantoms yo” quotes. But the reason I cheer the decision is not because he was so great in Daredevil (which he wasn’t), but because it is the best joke-fuel of the year so far. It is great. I just can’t stop smiling when I think about it.
    On the decision itself: Affleck can act. Not oscar worthy drama act, but he can sell a character with his acting. Plus he made himself a good name as a director in the past few years.
    We can’t really know it the movie is going to be good until it comes out, but till then I’m gonna enjoy the hell out of the overreactions.

  10. The only thing I know is that they could recast Bale, they could cast a young Clint Eastwood, the clon mixture of Keaton and Bale for the part and there still would be a cry of outrage from the fans. Affleck was never my first choice (I did not even consider it) but it is the choice that they took and surely I’ll be buying my ticket to see Man of Steel 2.
    Also, it is not a Batman movie, right. Batman will be a support character so he will have not much exposure, as Superman will at least.
    Hey, they cast Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor. Good news.

  11. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

    This will not end well. I don’t think he will end up playing Batman – not in a million years (unless it’s on Futurama) – but the wait until they get the real name out for who is actually going to play Batman will be painful.

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