Back in 2002, at the height of the modern day superhero genre, Ben Affleck was cast amongst an all-star cast in FOX’s Dare Devil. The film was met with mixed reviews and many fans say Affleck was part of the film’s box office numbers. Over the years, rumors would swirl with one being that Affleck would only come back in the titular role if Kevin Smith, who also had a small role in the film, would direct it. Makes sense since they are friends and have collaborated on films before. While some feel a sequel was warranted it came in the form of Elektra, with an Affleck cameo (deleted scene). FOX soon abandoned the untiled and now shelved sequel in favor of other venues. Affleck, surely felt his days portraying a superhero on film were done, that is until late 2013….
Man of Steel was into its summer run and the movie was holding a panel at the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) that year much like the previous year where the world was introduced to the, what is now known as, Snyder Verse (DC Extended Universe). Just a few days after the Hollywood premiere, WB ordered to fast track a Superman sequel for possibly a December 2014 release due to the films better reception it got with this incarnation of Supes as opposed to the Bryan Singer version of Superman Returns. While I was one that was all for a super quick sequel, my hopes weren’t without some caution given the last films box office numbers and reception. Fast forward to the SDCC, Zack Snyder did in fact announce a sequel for a 2015 slot, but with an interesting surprise. Actor Harry Lennix, who had a part in Man of Steel, read an excerpt from a very popular comic book hinting at the possible events in the untitled sequel. The screen went black and out pops Batman’s logo behind Superman’s. The crowd, internet, and fans alike went nuts! Finally, two of the biggest icons in comic lore, finally happening on a Hollywood set. But now the question becomes, who will be Batman? Enter Ben Affleck.
In the coming weeks after the announcement, the casting rumor was in full swing with Matt Bomer leading the pack. But alas, Snyder had one more hint to drop in the form of Batman being a much older Bruce Wayne that comes out of retirement after the destruction of Metropolis. This announcement, along with the excerpt read by Lennix and the Batman logo unveiled at the SDCC, seem to all but confirm the rumors that this Batman would heavily be based on Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns”. With that shoe drop throwing Bomer out of the running, who would be the ideal actor to portray this version? Who? Josh Brolin was now the frontrunner and his casting seem to be cemented into Batman’s shoes. Then in late August, the official casting announcement from left field…way left field: Ben Affleck is Batman! Holy WTF BATMAN?!?!
Holy @#*% indeed. The internet blew up yet again but not in a positive way. The majority was against it. Affleck? Really? First Dare Devil and now Batman? But is it a bad thing? Why don’t we ask the same fans who were against Michael Keaton back in 1988 or Heath Ledger in 2007? I for one was okay with the casting as I did like him as Dare Devil and could definitely see him as Bats himself. My only hope was that the get away from the ongoing black rubber bat-suit. Snyder came through and the release pictures of Affleck in full gear and I knew his casting was right. Folks, we had our new Batman, but could he fulfill the legacy. After all, he has big shoes to fill after Christian Bale’s epic trilogy. Could he pull it off? Batman v Superman was two years and eventually 30 months away.
Dawn of Justice debuted to mix reviews, but Affleck’s performance cemented his place as the quintessential movie Batman. His height was a major plus as he is the tallest actor to date to play the dark knight at a towering 6’4. His suits, and fighting style are just a joy to watch. His overall demeanor and presence was delivered beautifully and with expert precision. Folks, we have our cinematic Batman. Affleck certainly redeemed himself from his days as an ass kicking blind lawyer from Hell’s Kitchen and traded places for world’s greatest detective beating the tar out of evil doers in the slums of Gotham. While I was a little bummed out with him not being able to direct his own Batman solo flick, I do hope to see him in future roles as The Dark Knight, for years to come. He got a second chance at playing a superhero and arguably one of the best incarnations of him, and I am confident to say he nailed it this time. I mean, would you want to see him in another superhero role after this one? Would you want to see him as an older Superman? Oh wait….