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Why Ben Affleck is the wrong choice to play Batman

Ben Affleck’s career renaissance has culminated in his biggest role to date – as Warner Bros’ new Batman.

The Oscar-winner will battle Henry Cavill’s Superman in an as-of-yet unnamed ‘Man of Steel’ sequel directed by Zach Snyder and set for release on 17 July 2015.

Whilst certainly something of a shock, is the decision a good one? I definitely have my doubts.

Look to the blogosphere and you’ll see a familiar superhero name alongside that of the Dark Knight, that of ‘Daredevil’. In 2003 the blind Marvel character’s film flopped, becoming the centrepiece of a period in the career of its star Ben Affleck that saw him become something of a joke.

After taking some time off Affleck returned as a director and went on to make a name for himself with three critically acclaimed films – the most recent of which winning this year’s Oscar for Best Picture.

That film was ‘Argo’, and it was widely considered to be the film that would see Affleck become the hottest director in Hollywood. Instead, his first big movie following that gong was to bag the biggest acting role currently going in the film industry.

Does Ben Affleck has what it takes? (Credit: Rex)
Many believe he would have been the perfect director to bring Batman back to the big screen following Christopher Nolan’s super-successful ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, but he in fact will be the caped crusader himself.

It’s a strange decision to say the least. As has been proven, Affleck is far more talented behind the camera than in front of it, but that’s not to say he’s a bad actor. Not at all. He turned in great performances in the films he has directed, but does he have what it takes to be Batman?

Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ sequel will pit Henry Cavill’s young Superman against an older, more weathered Batman. Snyder has said that Affleck has the skills to “bear the scars of a seasoned crime fighter”, but does he? Affleck has never really fitted the hero mould, nor the mould of a psychologically troubled and dark individual such as Bruce Wayne. 

Sure he played a hero in ‘Argo’, but this new role is going to be a world away from forging some documents and walking some strangers through an airport.

Affleck is more of an everyman, and seems more naturally fitted to the role of Superman than of the vigilante alter-ego.  An older Batman needed an actor with an edge Affleck, on the surface, lacks. Affleck is too clean cut and too goody-two-shoes.

Affleck has a big task living up to Christian Bale's performance as a Dark Knight (Credit: Rex)
Many have said Affleck would have been a much better and more popular choice of director for the ‘Man of Steel’ follow-up. Zack Snyder was the biggest problem with this year’s reboot. He’s a graduate of the Michael Bay School of Style Over Substance and this summer he presented a largely humour-less blockbuster with minimal character but maximum carnage.

Affleck surprised everyone with his abilities as a director and he may surprise us all again, but he is an actor that seems much closer to the more friendly Michael Keaton/Val Kilmer mould than the dark Christian Bale character that is still popular and fresh in people’s minds.
The answer to why Affleck took the gig might actually be a cynical one. Think about all the success and adulation that has been lavished on him as a director and the derision targeted at him when he was in blockbusters as big as 'Man of Steel 2' will be. Why would he risk losing the respect of Hollywood be doing that again? Well the answer is most likely a cynical one.

Think of Ben Affleck accepting the role as Batman as a favour to Warner Bros and suddenly things become clear. When Affleck does this and any future film planned for this particular Batman he'll not only have the money to do any personal directing project he wants but Warner Bros will also owe it to him to help get it made.

Finally, and to counter nearly everything I’ve said, in 2006 Christopher Nolan cast Heath Ledger as The Joker. It was a decision most fans hated, but Ledger proved every last one of them wrong. Daniel Craig did the same when he was cast as James Bond and Christian Bale definitely had a few detractors when he first donned the cape and cowl all those years ago.

I put a certain level of faith in each of those actors and defended Heath Ledger and Daniel Craig in particular. It would be unfair to totally dismiss Affleck despite my concerns about the decision, so I would love nothing more than to be proven wrong by him.

Can Ben Affleck prove his detractors wrong? Would you have preferred him to direct instead of Zack Snyder? Let us know in the comments below…
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Hey, I'am Babanature. A webdesigner, blogspot developer, UI/UX Designer and entertainment personality. I'am also a business speaker, marketer, Blogger and Javascript Programmer.

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