Ben Affleck as the new Batman- Bring back Bale!

Does Ben Affleck really have the acting depth to portray the complicated character that is Batman?


Although being a Batman film fanatic, I was not one of the devoted aficionados who expressed their outrage the moment it was revealed that Ben Affleck was to be the latest actor to don Batman’s cape. Instead, I heard the news of the latest casting for the Man of Steel sequel via Facebook and Twitter, as I scrolled through countless statuses and tweets from mostly furious fans.

I’m definitely the first to fall in love with an actor if he’s handsome, but even I must agree that Affleck is not the right man for the role of the legendary comic book superhero. I loved him in Armageddon and Pearl Harbour, but that’s precisely my point: Affleck is the perfect heartthrob, a gorgeous man who every girl falls in love with when watching his films. The dual character of Batman, the superhero and his secret identity, Bruce Wayne, is a complex role which cannot be played by just any actor. Batman is dark and mysterious, a character besieged by conflict and a haunted past. For me, Christian Bale was without a doubt the best Batman, as he successfully conveyed the bearing of scars from Bruce Wayne’s childhood, and I’m genuinely disappointed that he chose to decline the offer of reprising his role.

Affleck certainly has the acting credentials to take on such a huge and prestigious role, but it’s about more than being a highly acclaimed actor. I don’t think Affleck has the ability to create the necessary persona of Batman, and he will be harshly compared to Bale. It is a shame that he has to follow in such prominent footsteps, and this looks like it could be his greatest challenge yet, taking on an already well-played role and attempting to make the fans and audiences believe his character and accept him in this new role.

I won’t deny that I will probably end up leaving the cinema having really enjoyed the film. It is most likely my attachment to Bale and my dislike of change that leads me to be dissatisfied with Affleck’s casting. Perhaps I should keep an open mind: when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker, he received a huge amount of criticism from fans and film critics, but he was absolutely incredible in his role in The Dark Knight; the role was awarded an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 2009. However, right now I just cannot imagine Affleck filling Bale’s shoes as Gotham’s Caped Crusader.

1 Comment

  1. Ammaar Shaukat Reshi

    1 September, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    I agree with most of this article, but I think there are alternatives to Bale that could do equally as well, if not better as Bruce Wayne. I say Bruce Wayne because *anyone* can be Batman behind the mask (even his voice is computer generated!), but being Bruce Wayne requires personality. For me, Gabriel Macht would have been perfect for the role. His character in Suits, Harvey Specter has the same smug, arrogant, flamboyant qualities that personify Bruce Wayne as an eccentric Billionaire.

    With all of that said, however, Affleck is more than capable of taking this role on. He played Matt Murdock very well in Daredevil – which is somewhat of a similar role, and has already received approval from all three former Batman actors. Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing the film, I just hope they get the right villain for it!

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