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Ben Affleck Will Play Batman in Batman/Superman

Ben Affleck is a pretty surprising choice.

Honestly, I don’t think it is that bad of a casting choice. Weird? Yes, but I don’t know if it is that bad. Daredevil was a loooong time ago, ya know? He’s a more mature actor now. He was good in Argo. Not great, but good. In addition, they specifically wanted an older Batman and Affleck is 41. So while it is probably not the way I would have went, I think it is an okay choice.

59 Comments

He was the bomb in Phantoms.

Batman is the poor man’s Daredevil

Will Superman be in the movie this time?

This is BY FAR the worst casting choice in the history of film. I’m not being the least bit hyperbolic.

No. Just: no. Awful choice.

If they give him a gray costume with black underwear on the outside, I’m TOTALLY sold on this.

But really, though, I think that Affleck’s recent oeuvre has shown that his aspirations are certainly more ambitious than when he acted in Gigli, Daredevil, and Armageddon. So this actually could be good.

Huh.

This is certainly not an obvious choice. Affleck comes across as both more middle-class and too optimistic to make a good Bruce Wayne. Of course, you could’ve said the same thing about Michael Keaton and he was great in the part.

“This is BY FAR the worst casting choice in the history of film.”
No, that would be Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze.

To me, it’s not enough to just say he’s a good actor. He also needs to fit the part, and I don’t think Affleck does.

I don’t think there’s any way they’re going to pull a good movie out of this. Man of Steel established Superman as a dark hero trying to out-sulk Batman. Putting the two together? Terrible idea.

Whatever. The chance of this movie being any good is hovering around zero percent anyway. Snyder hates everything good about Superman; he seems embarrassed by the character. And no bat-actor will be as good as Kevin Conroy in the DCAU. But, seriously, what do I know? I liked both Daredevil AND X Men Last Stand.

I’ve been a superhero fan for over 30 years, and while I liked what I saw of Iron Man 3, I am seriously over Hollywood superhero movies that spend at least an hour on punching and explosions… I’m not looking forward to this movie AT ALL. If I’m stuck on a long international flight, I MIGHT watch it (that’s how I saw 1/2 of IM3) but probably not. These type of movies are made for the foreign market, and sad to say, the foreign market has shit taste in American movies. Sigh. I miss movies with stories.

I’m actually pretty amused. Well played.

I agree with mrclam on the “whatever” reaction. Expectations are nil after Man of Steel, the characters in this aren’t “Batman and Superman”, they’re just blank slates with those names attached for the purpose of making a shitload of money, just like the dudes in Star Trek-Babies aren’t Bones or Kirk or whoever. We had a trilogy with some hiccups and flaws but that still made for fine,fine movies, and of course B:TAS and Justice League/JLU. Affleck and Cavill are likeable, at least. It would be kinda hilarious if, given that Clark Kent is a beer-swilling neckbreaker who smashes building filled to the brim with innocent people, Bruce Wayne is now a happy-go-lucky pollyanna. It is what it is. Fans will always have Clark trying to sneak a peek at his Christmas gifts early and being foiled by lead wrapping paper, and the Manhunter from Mars stroking a cat and filling the Kent home with a song in his native tongue. Kids can grow up with ‘splosions and shit at the multiplex, and hopefully be shown dvds from, oh, ages and ages ago by people of discerning tastes.

Suck factor gets higher and higher on this one. But who knows? Everyone thought Ledger would be shit at the outset, too.

Hollywood formula = Sumthing good and wonderful (Batman) + 180 pounds of shit (Ben Affleck) = A big steaming pile of shit dropped onto America

I read these comments and i really feel sorry for a lot of you ppl.

Will Matt Damon play Superman? :)

For all those wringing their hands, I remember flipped out (in a bad way) over the choice of Michael Keaton as Batman….

I am gonna reserve judgement til I see the film. But I definately think he can pull it off.

@Danny- Oh, god, yes! “Comfort and Joy” is totally where it’s at! It was the TV equivalent of a done-in-one comic. A perfect mix of punching, pathos, and playfulness. It was funny, it was poignant, it had heart, it told a story. You’re right–fans will always have quality to fall back on, and that particular episode is especially noteworthy. It was probably Paul Dini’s finest moment. Those 22 minutes certainly packed in more story than two hours of Man of Steel. If I hadn’t already watched it around 10-15 times, I’d watch it again right now, but truth be told, I’ve got that sucker memorized!

PS: Your line, “It would be kinda hilarious if, given that Clark Kent is a beer-swilling neckbreaker who smashes building filled to the brim with innocent people, Bruce Wayne is now a happy-go-lucky pollyanna.” made my day.

I actually kinda liked Daredevil, I didn’t think the problems with that movie stemmed from his performance, so his Batman might actually be good if he’s given a good script. That’s what it all boils down to. I know I’ll catch flack for this, but Val Kilmer would have been great as Batman if he’d been given a decent script to work with, and you can see the potential he had in the role from the (I believe) very good scenes he did outside of costume.

Just because Daredevil wasn’t a good movie doesn’t mean Afleck couldn’t make a good Batman. He’s a talented actor, there’s no denying that, if he’s given a solid script to work from and a director that’s worth a damn, this could just as easily turn out to be the best Batman performance of all time. Now, is that likely? Probably not, but I’d say there’s a good chance that it’ll be at least somewhere north of decent.

He can pull of Bruce Wayne but I’m not sure he can do batman

So wait, and this is NOT the Kevin Smith version? Are we sure?

Worst Choice EVER Affleck in Batman after one is used to Bale as the most best Batman in History? Sorry this cannot work…

The problem with casting Ben Affleck isn’t that he’s a bad actor (he’s not) or that he’s been in terrible movies (he has, but he’s been in some good ones, too). The problem to me is that it seems like they cast him BECAUSE he’s a big name. Nobody was even talking about him being Batman. It’s like they just chose a 90s super star out of a hat, as if we would just as easily could have gotten Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, or Alec Baldwin.

It’s like they’re worried Henry Cavill isn’t a big enough star as Superman so they need some more famous guy as Batman to make up for it (it could backfire with Affleck eclipsing him in the hype).

It just seems so gratuitous. But I don’t think we should overreact and condemn it as a outright terrible choice, even if it is uninspired. We should wait and watch.

My hope is that somehow while playing Batman, some of his directing ability rubs off on Zack Snyder. That’s the biggest upside to this story.

Affleck is an Academy Award winning actor/ director. He was picked for several reasons:
He looks like Bruce Wayne/ Batman. If you think he doesn’t you are delusional. Black hair, square jaw, 41 years old. He looks more like Batman than Michael Kearon, Val Kilmer, or George Clooney ever did.
Given the right director and script he has proven to be an exceptional actor – Argo, The Town, Hollywoodland, State of Play, and the Company Men. Sure, he’s been in a lot of turkeys, but who hasn’t? Blame poor management.
He is an Academy award winning screenwriter and Director and thus brings gravitas to the Batman Vs Superman film. Most of the time these films are only able to attract an Academy Award winning actor in supporting roles like Marlon Brando, Kevin Costner, or Anthony Hopkins. This time you’ve got an award winning actor in the main role of the film!
It is likely the studio believes having an all-rounder like Affleck (actor/ writer/ director) could only benefit Zack Snyder in making this film. Hopefully Synder will use Affleck in this capacity and not just as an actor.

I personally had my hopes up for Karl Urban, but I think this is an inspired choice. Personally I didn’t think Christian Bale was the definitive Batman at all. He was a great Bruce Wayne, but his Batman, while physically striking, was somewhat over-the-top regarding the voice. I think that Affleck is just as good an actor and will make the role his own.

I’m hoping somewhere down the line we get a Ben Affleck Batman film written, produced, starring, and directed by Affleck. I’d love a Batman similar in tone to The Town and Gone Baby Gone.

Does it really matter how good the actor who plays Batman is? There’s not a lot to the role. In Batman movies, Bruce Wayne typically only becomes Batman for the action scenes, and acting skills are almost irrelevant to the the success of those scenes. Bruce Wayne is obviously an important character, but the quality of Batman movies have never depended on how skillfully he was played. Across all three films, I don’t know that I read a single review or had a single conversation where Christian Bale’s performance was singled out for praise.

Put another way, do you really think casting Ben Affleck in The Dark Knight trilogy would have made them noticeably worse? Would Christian Bale have made Batman Forever or Batman and Robin noticeably better?

If Batman vs. Superman sucks, it will be Zach Snyder’s fault and no one else’s.

I don’t think Affleck is a bad actor it just seems to me that the role of Batman doesn’t fit him.
A lot of people (myself included) didn’t thing Heath Ledger would be a good Joker.
We just have to wait and see.

Also personally I think the whole Superman and Batman in one movie is a bad idea in the first place.
To soon.

“Also personally I think the whole Superman and Batman in one movie is a bad idea in the first place.
Too soon.”

This. The whole project smacks of Warner Bros./DC trying to play frantic catch-up to Disney/Marvel, and they haven’t laid the groundwork for it. Imitation is not innovation.

And Marvel is laughing right now. Horrible choice. This is George Clooney bad. George and Ben have done good stuff…great stuff. But neither is a Batman.

Did I already mention horrible choice?

I found Affleck genuinely threatening in both “Dazed and Confused” and “Mallrats” when they came out. Not sure how he’ll pull off the voice, but it can’t be any worse than Bale’s (and we all liked Bale, right?). Also, I thought Cavill was perfect as Superman; by the end of the second act I thought we had our guy. I’m concerned that Snyder can’t possibly make two decent movies in a row, but there’s no reason not to root for him.

I’ve never understood why everyone seems to think Bale’s Batman was so great.

His Bruce Wayne was decent but that misguided Cookie Monster voice ruins everything. Taken apart from the films themselves, his Batman performance is more embarassingly bad than anything Clooney or Kilmer ever did.

So yeah, Affleck is already a better Batman than Bale in my book.

Michael Keaton was an inspired choice for Bruce Wayne; however, he was not very good as Batman, Christian Bale was the first actor to portray both halves of the character successfully.

I think Affleck will be fine as Bruce Wayne but disappointing as Batman, just like Keaton was before…

I’ve never understood why everyone seems to think Bale’s Batman was so great.

His Bruce Wayne was decent but that misguided Cookie Monster voice ruins everything. Taken apart from the films themselves, his Batman performance is more embarassingly bad than anything Clooney or Kilmer ever did.

Agreed. And taken WITH the Nolan films themselves, which are horrible, the total package becomes even worse. I think with time and perspective that trilogy will go down in esteem greatly, especially once the next true great Batman movie comes out, which won’t be this one since it’s written by David Goyer.

This. The whole project smacks of Warner Bros./DC trying to play frantic catch-up to Disney/Marvel, and they haven’t laid the groundwork for it. Imitation is not innovation.

I wouldn’t even call this imitation.

Does it really matter how good the actor who plays Batman is? There’s not a lot to the role. In Batman movies, Bruce Wayne typically only becomes Batman for the action scenes, and acting skills are almost irrelevant to the the success of those scenes

I agree that no acting skills are really necessary to pull off this role, especially if Goyer is providing the script, but there are two things that are important: the voice and the credible fight scenes. From Daredevil, I recall Affleck being godawful at the fight scenes. He almost seemed to be moving in slow motion. The scenes where he goes head to head with Jennifer Garner were especially bad, as she really outshone him in those fight scenes.

Put another way, do you really think casting Ben Affleck in The Dark Knight trilogy would have made them noticeably worse?

No, but very little could have made those movies worse.

Suck factor gets higher and higher on this one. But who knows? Everyone thought Ledger would be shit at the outset, too.

People always use Ledger as an example of transcending expectations, by saying they thought that he would be a crap Joker and he surprised them. I disagree. We have no idea to this day whether or not Ledger would have been a good Joker because he never really played a recognizable Joker. What he played wasn’t recognizable as the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Modern Age, or Didio Age Joker. It was a cool, charismatic character, but it never really felt like I was watching the Joker. With Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson I felt like I was watching the Joker. Never felt that way with Heath. He still did a great job though at playing the character he did play.

I’d rather it say Ben Affleck directing Batman vs Superman but this works too I guess.

TO EVERYBODY SAYING THAT BEN AFFLECK IS AN APPROPRIATE CHOICE BECAUSE OF HIS “ACTING ABILITY”:

The point isn’t that he “can’t act”. He’s obviously shown that he can given the right material/director/etc. The issue is that he’s shown again and again and again that he can’t pull off a convincing action hero. How many shitty Baysplosion/cape/popcorn flicks does he have to be in before you notice that his acting abilities are limited and don’t include the ability to play badasses?

And there’s nothing wrong with that. ALL actors have limitations. Morgan Freeman is SHIT in all his non-dramatic roles. That doesn’t make him a crappy actor, it just means that he should be playing freaking James Bond. The same rationale applies to Affleck. He’ll make an unwatchable Batman just like he’s made an unwatchable leading man in every single action picture that they’ve tried to shoehorn him into thus far.

Most unintentionally hilarious quote from any movie ever…

Ben Affleck in Jersey Girl: “I’m sorry for the way I’ve been acting.”

“Affleck is an Academy Award winning actor/ director.”

Neither of those things is true. In fact, Ben Affleck has never even been nominated for an Oscar for acting or directing, let alone won.

Neither of those things is true. In fact, Ben Affleck has never even been nominated for an Oscar for acting or directing, let alone won.

He’s an actor/director who has won an Academy Award (two, counting his win as producer of Argo). Misleading? Clearly. But not technically false.

This is bullshit! I just went from excited status to boycott status.

This is hilarious, two petitions have been started to stop the Affleck casting:

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/08/23/ben-affleck-as-batman-thousands-sign-petition-to-remove-him/

People are really worked up to insane levels over this.

It doesn’t matter. I really think this project is probably DOA for more than a few reasons. Aside from this looking like DC wanting to catch up to Marvel, which is all the wrong reason to do a crossover type film, what are we really going to get (given the standard of Hollywood writing; divest yourselves from the comics for a minute) when we see the final product?

The two most likely options are either a) both characters smash each other in an explosion-filled action piece with zero story and nothing except the action going for it (in which we also don’t get a clear winner), or b) a re-hashed Iron Man 2 with Supes as Iron Man and Batman as Black Widow. In the latter case, I’m guessing we get Brainiac as a villain. I say that because it allows for an easy climax: Superman going toe to toe with the big bad and his robot army physically while Batman goes and shuts the computer down, maybe having to fight and defeat one of his bad guys (Mad Hatter? Riddler? Etc.) to do it.

But that’s the problem: with a comic, we’re willing to buy that Superman needs Batman somehow to help him (and yes, they will team up; you don’t get a Justice League film, which is what DC wants, if the two main stars of that film are mortal enemies at the end of this film). But we do that because we buy into comics. In a film, with a larger film audience, I just don’t think that you can have Batman stare down Darkseid or something and have it come across as anything but ridiculous. A non-comic book film audience will just think it’s silly. And at the end, that’s the problem here: Batman is good to give Supes a few hits, pull him away from the Kryptonite, and shut down the computer, but not much else (again, unless you just want him in robot armor trying to kill Supes all film…which isn’t likely to happen).

T., thank you for that comment on the Joker. While I thought Ledger made an effective villain, a gloomy Joker just isn’t right
It is a shame Romero, the most clownish Joker, couldn’t have played him as the Golden Age homicidal fiend. The contrast with that and his bouncy, giggling manner could have been immensely chilling.

No way in hell is this a good idea, damnit.

I, for one, would love a movie of Joker pulling boners.

People are really worked up to insane levels over this.

I find the level of #NERDRAGE over this sort of funny. Affleck is the fifth movie Batman of my adult life. There have only been six people to star in a James Bond film total. The odds are that Affleck will be better than Kilmer and Clooney, but worse than Bale or Keaton.

In other words, he’ll be a mid-franchise, middle-tier Caped Crusader.

It’s especially amusing because this sounds like it’s the Alien vs. Predator or Freddy vs. Jason of the franchise. It sort of counts, but it doesn’t necessarily mean much for the future, especially with the film franchises being rebooted every few years.

@ T.

I agree that no acting skills are really necessary to pull off this role, especially if Goyer is providing the script, but there are two things that are important: the voice and the credible fight scenes. From Daredevil, I recall Affleck being godawful at the fight scenes. He almost seemed to be moving in slow motion. The scenes where he goes head to head with Jennifer Garner were especially bad, as she really outshone him in those fight scenes.

Daredevil was pretty bad from start to finish. Jennifer Garner was the only thing that worked at all and she wasn’t exactly playing the Electra that Frank Miller created. It is a shame, because Miller and John Romita, Jr. created a pretty good template for a DD movie in MAN WITHOUT FEAR.

Also, I am happier with David S. Goyer than you are. He has come up some great ideas over the years. He is just too busy or too lazy to really work them through into great stories. I thought weaving Ra’s al Ghul into Batman’s origin was terrific, but Goyer and Nolan didn’t really properly set up his motivation for attacking Gotham (rather than just Bruce Wayne personally). That caused the third act of BATMAN BEGINS to flag a bit. Similarly, the idea of the Fortress of Solitude laying under the Arctic ice waiting for Superman was a great hook, but it wound up not mattering at all.

It’s especially amusing because this sounds like it’s the Alien vs. Predator or Freddy vs. Jason of the franchise. It sort of counts, but it doesn’t necessarily mean much for the future, especially with the film franchises being rebooted every few years.

Exactly.

The odds of Warner Bros creating a Justice League franchise that spins out of Batman vs. Superman are extremely remote. Marvel pulled off the Avengers after making a bunch of mistakes launching a “cinematic” universe with their Ultimate line. They’d also watched other people do successful adaptations of Spidey and the X-Men (plus failed versions of Daredevil, The Punisher, FF and etc.) Those were all low stakes learning experiences for Kevin Feige and company.

By contrast, WB has been playing a much higher stakes game with its DC properties. Everything they attempt is on such a huge scale that is hard for them back away from their mistake. Worse, base hits (e.g. Superman Returns) get treated like disasters. At this point, all they know how to do is call Chris Nolan and/or David Goyer.

Want to run that poll again about the excitement level for Batman vs. Superman and Avengers: Age of Ultron again?

People always use Ledger as an example of transcending expectations, by saying they thought that he would be a crap Joker and he surprised them. I disagree. We have no idea to this day whether or not Ledger would have been a good Joker because he never really played a recognizable Joker. What he played wasn’t recognizable as the Golden Age, Silver Age, Bronze Age, Modern Age, or Didio Age Joker. It was a cool, charismatic character, but it never really felt like I was watching the Joker. With Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson I felt like I was watching the Joker. Never felt that way with Heath. He still did a great job though at playing the character he did play.

^^ I agree with every word T. wrote above. Ledger turned in a great performance, but it wasn’t really the Joker.

It’s only been about 24 hours since I first heard of Affleck’s casting and I’m already over it. Batman survived Joel Schumacher and Jack Schiff. He can survive this. And at the rate they reboot these movies these days, we’ll have another Batman in 5 years anyway.

Welcome to 1987/1988… now with internet….

I’m just so happy right now. I ended up skipping Man of Steel because I heard about all the things I wouldn’t like about it. Little did I know this was coming. I had so little faith in you, Zack Snyder and Co. I should’ve known you were making comedies all along. Trolling the internet will always win me over.

I hated Man of Steel and really, really, dislike Zack Snyder so I have no expectations for this. I don’t get the Ben Affleck hate, maybe not the best choice for Batman/Bruce Wayne, but he was good in Argo and has some roles that are really ok (the Town, Good will Hunting). Who knows, maybe he can influence Snyder to direct something that is not complete trash.

superhero movies = instant crap.

I still think they should have gone with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Even if he’s not a great Batman, at least there’s a sense of continuity to the movies.

Ben played an awesome George Reeves in “Hollywoodland.” He seems to be a comicbook geek/fan (or at least have an understanding of the comicbook geek/fan) with his association with Kevin Smith. The Daredevil Directors Cut wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and the problems with it had nothing to do with Affleck. I’m sure he will give his all to his Batman performance…. Give the guy a chance.

Both Michael Keaton and Diedrich Bader seemed like bizarre, totally wrong choices to play Batman. And they both did an amazing job. On paper, George Clooney should be a perfect choice, but he was awful.

I’m willing to give Affleck a chance here.

(Also, totally agreed on Ledger playing a great villain who wore white makeup but was in no way The Joker.)

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