Many different actors have played Batman in the past and some have done great while others not so much. Some of the actors who have put on the suit to play Batman include Lewis Wilson, Robert Lowery, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and most recently Christian Bale. Bale was great at the role and he spoiled fans with his take on the Dark Knight, but after “The Dark Knight Returns” he made it clear that he would not be putting on the Bat-suit for another installment of the series, so the studio looked at all the different possibilities.
The Big Announcement
Comic-Con San Diego 2013 was a very important event in the superhero cinematic universe due to several announcements that big names made. The fans didn't receive any announcement better than when Zach Snyder and the Warner Bros. panel told the audience that 2015 would see the Man of Steel sequel which would feature Batman. The crowd went crazy and they all wanted to know who the next actor to take on the role was. The talk included many options including rumors that producers asked Bale to reprise the role, but finally they announced that the next Bruce Wayne will be Ben Affleck.
The reception to the August announcement that Affleck would be taking on the role received mixed reviews with most fans disappointed that the actor who once played Daredevil was now going to the DC Universe to play one of the most iconic roles ever in comic books. There are already several memes saying how disappointed some are with the casting that will probably lead to Affleck also appearing in a future Justice League movie, but could the fans be wrong on this one?
The Fans Have Been Wrong Before
This is not the first time that the fans react negatively to a casting announcement which they thought of as bad. When Michael Keaton was cast to play batman by Tim Burton people wondered if he was the right man for it and when the role went to Val Kilmer in “Batman Forever” those same people were upset because Keaton did such a great job. The internet was not what it is today; in fact most people did not even know it existed so the outrage when Keaton was cast to play Bruce Wayne was in other media, and then they were proven wrong.
More recently fans were very upset when the late Heath Ledger was cast to play the Joker in “The Dark Knight”. Some fans swore they would not see that movie and then Ledger put on what many call the best performance in a comic book movie ever; even Robert Downey Jr. was a questionable choice to cast as Tony Stark, and we all know how well that decision turned out. On the other hand when George Clooney got the role for “Batman and Robin” there were mixed reactions but some fans were actually very positive about the casting, and yet the movie almost ruined the franchise. The point is that fans have been really wrong in the past and with Ben Affleck I think they are wrong again.
What About Daredevil?
The biggest concern from those who love comic book movies is the movie Daredevil which was mostly given bad grades by critics and fans. A lot of those fans blamed Affleck for the movie, but the truth is that he was actually not bad as Matt Murdock, but the script was the problem. You could have Sean Penn or Robert Redford put on the suit and the movie would have been bad because there was not much do with it. Affleck did as much as anyone could for DD, and he actually made the movie watchable.
Affleck Is A Good Actor
Some have made the point that Affleck is a bad actor and that is just a laughable argument. If you keep “Gigli” as a sample of his work then you may think you have a point, but we could also mention “Argo”, “Hollywoodland”, “Changing Lanes”, “The Town”, “State of Play” and many others. To say that he is not a good actor is just not a true statement. You also have to remember that Bruce Wayne/Batman is really not that complex of a character. You give a good actor a not so difficult role and he will nail it and I expect Affleck to do so.
If that were not enough he will also have Director Zack Snider in the chair. Do you really think that the director that made Gerard Butler be Leonidas in “300” will not get Affleck to properly portray Batman? Ben also has experience with directing and he is really good at it, so you can bet he will also have a great idea of how to bring the character to life.
He Looks The Part
Whether fans like to admit it or not, Ben actually looks the part. Sure he has to put on some muscle to become the man in the bat-suit, but it is not as if he has not done it in the past. He got in great shape for “Daredevil”, but he was even more ripped for “The Town”. There is no reason to believe that he cannot do it again. He is also 41 which is what the director and the studio were looking for. He can look like Bruce Wayne because when he is in public, Wayne is a playboy like Ben Affleck.
He Is A Fan
When an actor or director in a comic book movie shares that they were never really fans of the superhero, fans think that is a disaster. Ben actually is a comic book fan and that means that he really knows the character and better yet respects the work. He has talked about the fact that he loves the way that comic books tell a story in the past. He also knows what a character like Batman means to readers and will not want to disappoint because he is one of those fans.
Ben is the right choice to play the Caped Crusader in 2015. He has matured as a director and an actor, he loves the work and looks the part, so what more could fans ask for? The batman character is in good hands with Zack Snyder at the helm so relax and enjoy the ride.