Opinion: Why a Ben Affleck Batman is a good idea

This won't be another Daredevil

So after much speculation, the battle for the cowl has been decided - Ben Affleck is Zack Snyder's Batman.

From the moment Man of Steel 2 was revealed to be a Batman vs Superman movie, the rumour mill went into overdrive as to who would be filling the not-insubstantial Bat-boots left by Christian Bale.

Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, and Richard Armitage were all rumoured to be in line for the cape, but Warner Bros. and Snyder have opted for an older, more contentious star.

Predictably, the internet backlash is already in full swing. Twitter and Facebook are awash with those decrying the decision, with all manner of Anti-Affleckery flung around with gleefully melodramatic snark.

Less predictably (because it's insane), a petition to remove Affleck from the role has also been set up on Change.org.

You know Change.org - the website set up to provide a voice for those seeking political and societal progression. An empowering platform to help the world address those really hard-hitting, life-affecting issues - like, erm, someone being cast as Batman.

Anyway.

While the ire was to be expected, the vitriol associated with it is perhaps a tad overwrought - the simple reality is that whoever would've been cast to replace Christian Bale and his iconic turn in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy would've drawn its critics, but Affleck's tumultuous Hollywood career has brought him in for unfair criticism.

Sure, Daredevil's gimpy faux-grittiness was what you'd politely call a comic calamity (even Affleck has since distanced himself from the project), and the less said about Gigli and Pearl Harbour the better, but Affleck's since proved - time and again - that he's an accomplished actor/director.



From the awards-snaffling Argo to Hollywoodland, Gone Baby Gone and The Town, he's had an increasingly bulletproof CV of late, and it's hard to argue that he hasn't since gained the maturity and world-weary experience to take on a role that looks to be positioning itself as the mirror image to Superman's younger energy.

The press release notes that Man of Steel 2's Bruce Wayne will be “a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter”. Get Affleck to fashion a grizzled BatBeard to match the mental and physical war-wounds, and it's not that far a cry from the Argo role that nabbed him so many plaudits.

Throw in the fact that he's an unashamed comics fan (Daredevil aside, he played Superman in Hollywoodland, and was hotly tipped as a frontrunner to direct the Justice League Movie), and the lessons he would've learnt from the mistakes made in his first comic book movie outing, and you can guarantee he'll be focused on ensuring the character's as faithful and fanboy/girl-friendly as possible.



One thing's clear - this is not going to be Christopher Nolan's Batman on-screen, and it'll be all the better for it.

Comparisons are inevitable, but with a rebooted DC movie universe should come the opportunity for a fresh, tonally different take on the character.

And what better actor to embody the rise of a battered, bruised former icon battling in the face of overwhelming adversity than one Mr Ben Affleck?


It's not just Matt (@spliggle), either - it seems it's a reaction that's been echoed by the rest of the Total Film team...



JANE CROWTHER - EDITOR IN CHIEF
(@totalfilm_jane)

Affleck proved in Argo he can pull off the wounded and honourable man working under the weight of a lost family, Nolan as executive producer will ensure a high quality when it comes to the story and direction, and Affleck's maturity makes for an interesting new look at the Batman canon that could explore Wayne's sense of mortality.

Everyone bitched and moaned when Daniel Craig got Bond and look at the kick-ass 007 we ended up with. Affleck is an equally scrappy terrier and negative criticism will only make him more determined to prove everyone wrong. After all, if the guy can make people forgive and forget 'gobble gobble', he can do anything.



JAMIE GRAHAM - DEPUTY EDITOR (@totalfilm_jamie)

Affleck is a talented, hardworking guy who's triumphed over great adversity. To take on the iconic Batman role is a risk, but one he will have weighed up carefully (and no doubt spoken to George Clooney about!) and is brave to take. He definitely deserves the benefit of the doubt. He has proven he can bring gravitas to characters and he certainly has Batman's jawline!
 


MATTHEW LEYLAND - REVIEWS EDITOR (@totalfilm_mattL)

Affleck's surely got the clout now to have a sizeable say in what he wants the role to be, so I'm sure he wouldn't have signed on without being confident of giving us a fresh, different take on Batman. Plus The Town and Argo recently showed he can brood with the best of them. Who's going to be Alfred? I vote Bryan Cranston, Terence Stamp or the old dad from Modern Family.

 

SAM ASHURST - DEPUTY ONLINE EDITOR (@samashurst)

In Argo, Ben Affleck played a man completely broken by the loss of his family - beautifully. The director of Gone Baby Gone understands the complexities of Batman's form of justice. Affleck's mate Kevin Smith will be on hand to help - and anyone who listens to his Fatman On Batman podcast knows that's a very good thing. And forget the actor, it's the right Batman. "A man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter." I'm very excited about this news - I can't wait to see the first trailer.

Do you think Ben Affleck's a good choice for Batman? Either way, let us know what you think below!

Comments

    • shaihussain

      Aug 23rd 2013, 12:18

      Yeah. Can't argue with the jawline.

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    • shaihussain

      Aug 23rd 2013, 12:19

      But seriously wish they'd bought in Affleck to take over directing duties.

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    • arrizz

      Aug 23rd 2013, 13:21

      Totally is okay with the pick. I mean, come on, this article said it all.

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    • Ali1748

      Aug 23rd 2013, 14:10

      I completely agree with Matt's article. I hope TF do a youtube clip discussing this news please.

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    • gazbarker

      Aug 23rd 2013, 14:31

      didnt think it was a good idea when i first heard but the idea is actually growing on me.height build an jawline are correct tho he will have to hammer the gym abit to even come close to stand aside cavill.the voice is in question tho

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    • Mck123

      Aug 23rd 2013, 15:18

      I don't think there is any defence for this casting. There are a lot better choices out there, Josh Brolin for a start. I personally think Colin Farrell on form could have been excellent even Keanu Reeves could have pulled it off. When Bale was cast he bought all that was needed the edginess of American Psycho, the physicality from Reign of Fire and an acting ability developed since Henry V and Empire of the Sun. I don't think anyone was in doubt that he could pull of the duality of Bruce Wayne and Batman. I personally loathed TDKR but Nolan's first to films are just perfect and Bale is just 100% in the role. There is no convincing argument for his volume of work that demonstrates the edginess required, this film will have no artistic integrity and will just be a loud Fx filled debacle like MOS. Warner Bros have lost it.......End of story. They need to rethink this get Darren Aronofsky to do Year One and forget about trying to copy Marvel. It won't flop but now it won't have the support of the Bat fans out there. I think the movie going public will have a lot of choice in 2015 and Warners needed to pull all the stops out on this one. Ben Affleck the man and the animal crackers from Armageddon just isn't the answer.

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    • mattrix33

      Aug 23rd 2013, 16:35

      I have never had a problem with Ben afflick..in fact I have enjoyed a lot of movies he has been in. I'm a huge Kevin smith fan and affleck has always been great in his movies. The whole bashing him thing goes back to the ja-lo days...he was made the guy to hate by the media and the net followed suit. I can remember the utter bashing Heath ledger got when he won the joker role..people went mad that a "pretty" boy who was only good for playing a gay cowboy. How wrong they all were

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    • ibonekoen

      Aug 23rd 2013, 20:45

      I'll be the first to admit that when I first heard that Ben Affleck had been cast, I laughed uproariously over it, but once that kneejerk reaction had passed, I realized that yeah, Affleck has gotten better since the days of Daredevil. That why I'll be giving him the benefit of a doubt. Honestly, because of all the backlash that he's gotten over this, I hope that he really knocks it out of the park and does well in the role, just to rub it in the faces of the naysayers.

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    • CossieNuttas

      Aug 23rd 2013, 22:06

      to all the haters Affleck was the bomb in phantoms

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    • FBGSalkeld

      Aug 24th 2013, 0:20

      "Johnson's brave adap largely echoes the dark core of the source material, unafraid to get grit in its leather-clad knees. This is a noirish, faithful conversion that shares a spot-on comics sensibility with its superhero stablemates" Yeah guys, Daredevil sure sounds like a comic calamity. Hypocrites.

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    • obiwanshinobi

      Aug 24th 2013, 6:04

      Wait, isn't that the a**hole from Fashionable Male?

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    • lorepottter

      Aug 24th 2013, 7:07

      Im just gonna say this, Ben it is time to start working out, well we know no one can shadow Cavill, but at least give it a try

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    • Igrayne

      Aug 24th 2013, 7:35

      I also worry when people who are supposed to be serious critics use imature expressions like "kick a*s" and by the way Jane the only reason you like Craig is the same reason he has half of his fame, because there are a lot of sad older ladies who want "attention". Who cares what happens in the neSuperman, the whole franchise was already bollocked up in the last one by that idiot Snyder.

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    • spid2411

      Aug 24th 2013, 13:55

      Total Film - "One thing's clear - this is not going to be Christopher Nolan's Batman on-screen, and it'll be all the better for it." Can I ask why you are on board with this tonally different approach to Batman and in what way it will be "all the better for it"? I am so bored with people wanting ALL films based on graphic novels to be light and airy like the oh so forgettable dross wheeled out by Marvel. Is it wrong that some of these characters should be made for actual adults who enjoy fantasy that has a level of creative and intellectual weight to it or should we all just follow the money? I wont be seeing this or the Justice League nonsense and neither will anyone I know (there have been many laughing at the absurdity of all this and this Marvel phase 2 s**te - all translates as corporate parasites just wanting to make even more money at the expense of making quality films with good ideas) . I think the sun has pretty much set on quality films from comic books now although there are one or two coming out that are designed for a more sophisticated audience like Sin City 2. This determination you and so many others have now to dumb down all this stuff to a level that makes it more interesting to school kids and hence means bigger box office, has achieved nothing more than to alienate a large number of people who want more from their fantasy cinema than things blowing up. Your staff comments above come across as very bland and shallow I have to say. This film will be c**p but I guarantee you give it at least 4 stars anyway as that's clearly your job now - forget integrity (who needs it - money is all that matters).

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    • Ali1748

      Aug 24th 2013, 18:41

      Well Whedon thinks it's a good choice. "@josswhedon Affleck'll crush it. He's got the chops, he's got the chin -- just needs the material. Affleck & Cavill toe to toe -- I'm in."

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    • jamie72334479

      Aug 25th 2013, 14:53

      my classmate's ex-wife makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been unemployed for nine months but last month her paycheck was $17035 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here w­w­w.J­A­M­3­0.c­o­m

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    • MillerCrosses

      Aug 25th 2013, 22:44

      Argo is not a good defense, he does nothing at all in that movie, he's barely conscious, and he severely lacks authority in the role when it's necessary. Don't confuse good film with stand out performance, Argo is not a case of that.

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    • Andy85

      Aug 26th 2013, 17:51

      I genuinely don't understand the bashing that MOS is getting??? It was a bloody good film, there was a lot of heart and soul as well as amazing special effects. It's a man in a blue suit who is invincible I mean what else were people expecting from that film and I reckon Snyder nailed it!! I am looking forward to this sequel and I am more than happy to give Ben Affleck a run at the black cape. People seem to base all his past on a future role???? He is a professional actor and actors do tend to prepare for a new character when they have successfully passed an audition and part of playing that role is to mould themselves into the character they are going to play. Affleck is more than capable of doing this whether he was in Gigli or not so lets cut the guy some slack and actually wait until there is some credible evidence of the new film to judge rather than running at him like a bull in a China shop and slating his ability as Batman before you have actually seen anything of it!!!! And FYI Spid The Avengers was awesome, I will apologise on behalf of Joss Whedon if you like for not making a boring and dull film for you to enjoy.

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    • GFoley83

      Aug 26th 2013, 21:09

      "my classmate's ex-wife"... hahah f**k me the spam is actually hilarious on here. Anyway, initially I was disappointed about Affleck being cast but definitely coming around. I was one of the few who was actually a fan on Daredevil (especially the director's cut... one of the few film where there was a notable improvement). I'd love to know if Brolin and Gosling passed or they actually chose Affleck outright; I'm guessing the former. I think Brolin would have been perfect, or Karl Urban. They would have brought a serious, grizzled, more mature type to the roll, to a degree I'm not sure that Affleck can match.

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    • vincevega

      Aug 27th 2013, 14:47

      that's it, spid2411 stroke again with his little masturbation over Nolan's work and his hatred over marvel. Apparently, HE has got the light, HIS choices are the ONES and if anyone thinks different of him, they are idiot who didnt understand anything of cinema and of course, all Nolan did was creative and genius... let me tell you something you pretentious smug... there has been as much marketing put into the Dark Knight trilogy, especially to please the teanagers and older ones who like darker movies, prentending to be dark and only interested in the arty side of things to make them believe they have a higher quality product, as what has been put in the Marvel movies to make them pass as fun, entertaining and funny... which they were. I did like Man of Steel, I did like Avengers, and you can even find people to like Daredevil (see other articles)! there are even some... Oh Lord... that didn't even like the Dark Knight Trilogy... like me... I can go over why I didn't another time, but this is not the topic... topic is that you can find tastes for all colours and your presemptious, arrogant and let's say it, quite rude way to put people down when people don't think like you is quite offensive. I'd like to say "a word to the wise", but don't think you are wise enough to take this in and perhaps change the way you think.

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    • vincevega

      Aug 27th 2013, 15:03

      that's it, spid2411 stroke again with his little m@sturbation over Nolan's work and his little hatred over Marvel. let me tell you something you pretentious smug, there has been as much marketing and money put into the Dark Knight trilogy to make it pass as a cool dark movie only interested in the arty and creative side of things to please the crowd to make them believe they have a higher quality product, than in the Marvel movies to make them pass as fun and entertaining! I did really like MoS, and the Avengers, and there are even people to like Daredevil (see other articles) and even some... Oh Lord!... who didnt like the Dark Knight trilogy! like me... I can go over why i didnt in another time, but it isnt the topic, the topic is that your arrogant, presumptuous and let's say it straight... rude way of putting people down when they don't think like you is quite offensive. I would say "a word to the wise" but I dont think you're wise enought to take it in, accept it and change the way you think...

      Alert a moderator

    • vincevega

      Aug 27th 2013, 15:05

      that's it, spid2411 stroke again with his little m@sturbation over Nolan's work and his little hatred over Marvel. let me tell you something you pretentious smug, there has been as much marketing and money put into the Dark Knight trilogy to make it pass as a cool dark movie only interested in the arty and creative side of things to please the crowd to make them believe they have a higher quality product, than in the Marvel movies to make them pass as fun and entertaining! I did really like MoS, and the Avengers, and there are even people to like Daredevil (see other articles) and even some... Oh Lord!... who didnt like the Dark Knight trilogy! like me... I can go over why i didnt in another time, but it isnt the topic, the topic is that your arrogant, presumptuous and let's say it straight... rude way of putting people down when they don't think like you is quite offensive. I would say "a word to the wise" but I dont think you're wise enought to take it in, accept it and change the way you think...

      Alert a moderator

    • vincevega

      Aug 27th 2013, 15:05

      that's it, spid2411 stroke again with his little m@sturbation over Nolan's work and his little hatred over Marvel. let me tell you something you pretentious smug, there has been as much marketing and money put into the Dark Knight trilogy to make it pass as a cool dark movie only interested in the arty and creative side of things to please the crowd to make them believe they have a higher quality product, than in the Marvel movies to make them pass as fun and entertaining! I did really like MoS, and the Avengers, and there are even people to like Daredevil (see other articles) and even some... Oh Lord!... who didnt like the Dark Knight trilogy! like me... I can go over why i didnt in another time, but it isnt the topic, the topic is that your arrogant, presumptuous and let's say it straight... rude way of putting people down when they don't think like you is quite offensive. I would say "a word to the wise" but I dont think you're wise enought to take it in, accept it and change the way you think...

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    • vincevega

      Aug 27th 2013, 15:16

      sorry for duplicates!

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    • welshman09

      Aug 30th 2013, 11:38

      My opinion? Afflek's Daredevil was perfectly serviceable - or the Director's Cut was at least. The theatrical cut (hatchet job) was done by Marvel when they weren't really sure how to make films. There was precious little wrong with Afflek's Daredevil once the half of the film with the plot that leads to the dénouement of the Kingpin is put back in. He'll do well as Batman. But he doesn't need a Robin. Particularly that Robin(!)

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