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Let's get this out of the way first.
Who's the number one, primo, best choice to play Batman (that is not Kevin Conroy because he's the only Batman)? The answer is: no one knows. Not me, not you, not the executives, not the ghost of Bill Finger who eternally curses Bob Kane for allegedly stealing Batman. I believe that, much like Superman, Batman benefits most from being played by a complete-to-relative unknown. Not to mention the best performances surprise us, meaing the person you thought least apt could be, in actuality, the most likely to knock it out of the park. This makes it just about impossible to cast. Sure, you could list handsome, dark haired 20-something actors all day and in some amazing coincidence where they actually got to play Batman, you could be right. But you wouldn't have known, you would have guessed.
So who could possibly be qualified to fill the Bat boots after Bale? I'd say Ben Affleck is a pretty great choice. Why? Glad you asked.
Why is billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne so serious in all his photos?
Dude likes Batman
If you didn't listen, Ben Affleck is a self described comic book nerd. Not in that he enjoys comic book movies, in that he wanted to play Batman so much, he took the role of Daredevil (the name of the movie escapes me) because he believed that would be as close as he could get (Miller wrote both The Dark Knight Returns and a legendary run on Daredevil). Not only that, but he built a Batman-esque secret doorway to a small panic room in house. Because that's what we'd all do with Ben Affleck money.
So you have not only a qualified actor, but one who's a complete fan of the source material. Affleck is also very much into characters and story, as illustrated by his work as a writer and director. This means that he has had years to get into the head of Batman. To understand him. He's not playing a past version of the character, or just being himself (Clooney). He would play the character as he would exist in the world he's given.
Dude IS a Good Actor
Do you know what the toughest part of portraying Batman is, both in writing him and playing him? Here's a hint: it's not when he's punching criminals in the face. It's when the mask is off that the true test begins.
Batman is obsessive, ruthless, guarded, and untrusting. He's also guilt-ridden, tragic, and -- deep down -- a good hearted person. That's a lot of complexity in one character. Not to mention they're going for an older, more wary Batman, so there'll be even more to the character than Batman Basic. And in an action heavy movie like Batman vs. Superman (not the court room drama) will be, where there's almost no time for character development, most of that will rest on the actor's shoulders. It's easy to fall into a stale, one dimension role, but I feel Affleck's aforementioned love of the character will push him to go the extra mile.
Something whole movies don't do sometimes
Dude is the perfect Batman age
Batman is always this nebulous age somewhere between 33ish to 40, a little like Jesus. The best Batman adaptions of late have been the Arkham games (unsurprisingly written by Paul Dini), wherein he's set at the perfect, hardened age. He seems like he's been around the block. He's experienced. He the Batman.
Bale has come close to it in the movies, but he always seemed like a young Batman. Something that worked well in Begins but had to be overcome in Rises. 40-something year old Affleck looks like he's an experienced Batman. Especially if you're going for a tired, seen it all Batman. If only some fan had made a fake poster to illustrate this point!
Oh hey. Thanks.
Dude's East Coast history actaully works FOR him
"Stahp Jokah, yah bein' wicked retahded." AAAHAHAHAHHAHAHA, right?! Because Affleck is from South Boston. Guys. Guys. Guys.
I heard maaaybe a thousand different variations of this when news broke of Affleck's casting. And I get it, it's the easy, go-to joke. He's known for his love of the Boston brogue. But here's the thing: I think that might be a strike for rather than against.
Metropolis was meant as a stand in for Vancouver by Superman's original creators, but it is now often accepted as a stand in for New York (although New York does exist in DC. Hmmm). And since Gotham is next to the ocean and is close to Metropolis, that would make Gotham's closest analog... Boston.
Gotha-- no, Boston
Of course they won't go with a Batman wielding a Boston accent, but that's not the point. Affleck seems like he'd be from a large east coast metropolitan city because he is. He fits with the tone of the city, he gets the feel. That's a distinction no other Batman can claim.
It could turn out to be a big plus.
What do you think about Battfleck? Agree with me? Disagree? Want to question my entire love of comics? Let me know in the comments below.