Batman is one of the most iconic characters of all time, possibly only rivaled by his Justice League teammate Superman. The character has such a large fan base and sometimes the many Bat-fans get hypercritical over certain decisions made behind the character. More often than not, those decisions revolve around Batman and his supporting characters in films.
There have been many actors to take on roles in Batman movies and most have been met with significant criticism. One of the most infamous fan backlashes from a casting was when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Even that paled in comparison to the fan outrage when it was announced that Ben Affleck would be playing the Caped Crusader in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
This Isn't Daredevil
Fans went nuts, citing his failed venture into the superhero genre when he played Matt Murdock in the 2003 blunder Daredevil. Fans didn't believe Affleck possessed the acting chops to pull off the dark role, but most just simply were not a fan of the actor from his previous acting credits. With a role that is held up on a pedestal like Batman, fans want to have someone that they trust and after Daredevil they didn't feel they could.
When it comes down to it though, fans do not make the decisions for these movies -- the studio and director do, and in this case: Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder. These were Snyder's words when he was interviewed by People and was asked about why he cast Ben Affleck as Batman:
“He’s an amazing Bruce Wayne, let’s just be frank about that. And then when he puts the cowl on, you know he’s got the chin for it. Casting Ben felt like a no brainer to me. I know that there was some backlash, but he’s just so perfect to me, especially in his size and his age.”
Snyder had a certain vision for the role, and Ben Affleck fit that vision. It was something that fans were taken off guard with, but that is because at first glance it was such a strange casting. How could the guy that starred in Gigli do this role any justice?
Well as it turns out, Ben Affleck was more than dark enough to play this role. His portrayal as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was darker than many of the previous incarnations we have seen on film. He showed the mental distress that a character that witnessed both his parents dying and went through other terrible traumas in his life would have. It was a side of the character that has never had a chance to be fleshed out and it was eye opening to see the potential depth this Batman has.
Ben Affleck is a Hardcore Batman Fan
Ben Affleck has the potential to become the best incarnation of Bruce Wayne because he's not only is showing a different, more complete Batman, but he has something that no other actor had: He is a lifelong Batman fan.
Director and friend of Affleck's, Kevin Smith, came out and talked about the star's love for all things Batman:
This dude has loved Batman going as far back as I can remember. He only did 'Daredevil' because he loved Frank Miller’s 'Dark Knight Returns.'
He brings me into the room and goes “Look at this.” There’s an office room and this beautiful bookcase… he reached under and he clicked something and all of a sudden the bookcase [opened]. I was like, “No! You built a fucking Batcave?” And he was like “I built a Batcave entrance!” When you went in behind the bookcase it was a panic room. Very small with a little TV, phone, a safe and video games.
Batman as a franchise is now in the hands of not only a talented director (The Town, Argo), but someone who is well-versed in Batman lore and understands what makes the characters unique.
There has been an abundance of Justice League news coming in this week and Ben Affleck has been at the center of it all. He has been giving tons of details on his role in Justice League as well as the development of the solo movie that he is currently writing and will be directing.
Affleck's love and care for this Batman film is going so far that he is willing to delay the release that Warner Bros. has in place for the film because he wants the script to be perfect. He told the journalists on the Justice League set:
I think they have a date for it. Although, I don’t know if I would necessarily be able to make that date because I don’t have a script that’s ready yet. So that’s my – my timetable is I’m not going to make a movie until there’s a script that I think is good because I’ve been on the end of the things when you make movies when you have a script that’s not good yet and it doesn’t pan out.
"I have a script, we’re still working on it, and I’m not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, for which I have the highest of standards, I would say. That’s something that would have to pass a very high bar for me. It’s not just like, “Yeah, that might be fun, let’s go try this out."
By his comments, it is obvious that Ben Affleck wants to put his heart and soul into the film and make something both he and the fans can be proud of. His first portrayal as Batman and his desire to create the perfect Batman film is what separates him from not only his fellow Batman alumni, but almost every other superhero actor in the industry.
He has the drive, passion, acting talent, and directing talent to take this Batman movie to the next level and rival Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight. Fans booed and ridiculed him after being cast as Batman, but they have been proven wrong and Ben Affleck's love for the character is what makes it possible.