Batfleck: Ben Affleck as Batman – Really?

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Batfleck: no, it’s not a joke. Warner Brothers announced yesterday that Oscar-winner Ben Affleck will don the cape and cowl to play Batman in the sequel to this summer’s hit Superman flick Man of Steel. Details on the plot are few, but presumably the caped crusader and the son of Krypton get into some sort of scuffle, and comic book fans on the Internet are already cringing at the prospect of the Greek god-like Henry Cavill, as Superman, locking horns with the guy from Pearl Harbor (the box office bomb, not the real bomb).  We’re not completely convinced Affleck’s up to the task of playing the Dark Knight either, and here are our top five reasons why.

By Mike Crisolago and Tianna Robinson

A Boston Boy in Gotham?

Everyone knows Batman’s hometown of Gotham City is a facsimile of New York, give or take a few famous landmarks. Affleck, however, is passionately proud of and associated with his hometown of Boston. And, as we all know, New Yorkers and Bostonites do not get along.

So, does Boston Ben have what it takes to survive in Gotham? We can see it now: the Bat Signal replaced with the Red Sox logo, the Cheers bar opens in Gotham and only serves Sam Adams beer, the Batcave outfitted with Celtics and Patriots banners, not to mention the sudden emergence of Batman’s New England accent:

“Say, ah, Supahman, do you, ah, know where I can get a good bowl of clam chowdah in this town?”


“Tell, ah, all of your, friends about me. I’m, ah, Batman, and I’ll crush you like Carl Yastrzemski blasting a 2-2 pitch over the monster in Fenway, see?”

And you just wait – when they refer to Batman’s parents being murdered, it’ll be revealed the thug who did it was a Yankees fan. -MC

Nice Guys Finish Last

Ben Affleck’s image is one of friendship (his strong bromance with Matt Damon) and caring (the way he lovingly looks after his wife and daughters). I picture him hanging out at a backyard barbecue, diaper bag in tow. Or clicking beer bottles with his fellow Bostonians – I certainly do not picture him fighting crime. Sorry, Affleck, you have no edge. This might be where the old cliché “nice guys finish last” applies. The Batman character is much more convincing when audiences believe the actor playing the role could actually go out after dark without checking with his wife. Take a moment to look at some of the past actors who’ve played Batman: Adam West, those smoldering eyes screamed danger; Christian Bale, with his cinematic-level temper tantrums (off camera) and sharp jaw line, this guy is all edge; Val Kilmer, his tarnished image was just dark enough to convince moviegoers. Unless Ben toughens up his image, he’s just too shiny to convince me that he’s the Dark Knight. -TR


People Hated the Choice of Heath Ledger as the Joker at first too, but …

… Ledger proved a much more versatile, talented actor than Affleck.

Sure, Affleck’s really good at a lot of things – directing, writing, leaving Canadian heroics out of movies based on real-life Canadian heroics. He has two Oscars, but they’re for writing and directing. Ledger, by the time he played the Joker, had been recognized for his acting chops in films such as Brokeback Mountain. The argument against him is that he couldn’t act dark and sinister, like previous Joker Jack Nicholson. That argument was nullified with Ledger posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for the role. Is Affleck a good enough actor to make us believe he’s the crusader of Gotham? -MC

Everybody Knows Ben Affleck

Our cinematic good and bad (mostly bad) relationship goes too far back with Affleck to wash away all of that history and see him as Batman. This might be the only time this characteristic plays against him – he’s too famous. It is unknown actors that often play the lead in the most successful comic book adaptations. Take Man of Steel, for example, when they announced that Henry Cavill would play Superman many thought, “Henry who?” But it’s the anonymity that made Cavill a strong Clark Kent. The film grossed more than $649 million in worldwide box office, after all. From Armageddon to Daredevil and Gigli, we’ve seen Affleck on the silver screen too often to leave our bias at the door. -TR

His Last Superhero Stint Wasn’t Great

Affleck played the Marvel superhero Daredevil in 2003, and it’s not remembered very fondly. At one point, Affleck even stated the film “inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero.”

So now Affleck’s a dirty, rotten liar, too. Okay, that’s not fair. He seems like a nice guy. Still, any thoughts of a Daredevil franchise died in Affleck’s arms. Sure, no actor is big enough to kill the Batman franchise (right, George Clooney?), but for the first-ever big screen meeting between Superman and Batman, you want to make sure your Knight is Dark, not a Dud. -MC