Ben Affleck to Play Batman, the Internet Loses Its Shit


It was announced late Thursday that Ben Affleck will play famed caped crusader Batman and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, in the upcoming sequel to Man of Steel. In Zack Snyder’s DC Comics mashup, Batman vs. Superman, the two superheroes will appear together on screen for the first time. Apparently, this casting choice is pretty shocking news to some, and they’ve taken to Twitter to respond.

Tweets like this and this have been invading the Twittersphere. My personal favorite.

And if that wasn’t enough, two petitions were started in protest of Affleck as Batman, one on and one on the “We the People” section of the White House website. The petition calls on Warner Bros. while the White House one tries to summon the Obama administration to “denounce the selection of Ben Affleck” and recast the role of Batman. The Obama administration? Really? This was a joke, right? A totally self-aware joke showing just how seriously people are taking this matter, in a hilarious and hyperbolic manner? Either way, earnest or not, that is pretty great. I love seeing people get all up in arms over stuff like this, as if Warner Bros. were taking away their basic civil liberties. But hey, principles are principles.

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The petition on the White House website has since been removed, but the one on has garnered more than 46,000 signatures (!!!).

As over the top and carried away these protesters are, they do have a point. Ben Affleck would not be on my short list of actors to play Batman/Bruce Wayne. He has the potential, as the above tweeter mentions, to make George Clooney as Batman look like Marlon Brando in Street Car. I don’t have anything against Ben Affleck, and in fact, I think he’s quite the triple force as an actor, screenwriter and director. I just think that the role of Batman is so specific. The character is not as open to interpretation as someone like Superman, in my opinion. Yes, Superman is an alien who struggles with being, well, a superhuman all his life, but he was raised by some nice farm folks and lives a relatively normal life, given his circumstances. Batman, on the other hand, watches his parents get murdered in front of his eyes. He grows up with a phobia of bats but then essentially becomes his fear. That’s some dark shit. Whoever portrays Batman needs to have weight, not a really obnoxious Boston accent. In fact, the only thing going for him is his jawline, and if we all started basing our castings on jawlines, then Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston would be in every movie — oh wait….

Here’s what I’m hoping to see in the sequel (besides scrapping Affleck and replacing with Viggo Mortensen — now that’s a jawline):

  • Affleck adds some much-needed comic relief to the notoriously dark story. This is a guy who broke out onto the scene with Mallrats. Some might argue that his strengths will always lie in comedy. Even if he has outgrown his Kevin Smith days, he has the means to refresh the Batman legacy, and he should exercise them.
  • Affleck spends most of the time out of the suit. I can see him giving Bruce Wayne a new (read: less boring) persona, but I just can’t for the life of me picture him in a high-speed motorcycle chase or elbowing someone in the face without chucking. To me, he’s much more of a “shove a gun in someone’s mouth” kind of tough guy.
  • The Banter between Henry Cavill and Affleck toes the line of bromance. I know they’re supposed to be facing off against each other, but two superheroes with superegos should equate lots of in-yo-face one-liners, right? And those one-liners should have an underlying tone of “hey, why don’t we get out of these stuffy costumes and grab a cold one,” right???

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Well, we have two years to speculate, so until then, keep the #BatFleck jokes coming.

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