You may or may not have noticed, but the internet has exploded.

superbatIn a statement released last night by Warner Bros, it was announced that the actor playing Batman against Henry Cavill’s Superman in the upcoming movie, will be Ben Affleck, he of Daredevil and Argo fame. Somewhat predictably, opinions are flying around like spaghetti, and honestly, I’ve never seen such a wide variety of people talking about Batman at once. My Facebook is basically Affleck-book at the moment.

Director Zack Snyder said:

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

While WB president Greg Silverman added:

“We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some.”

We also have a date of release for the film, which will open on July 17 2015, with Amy Adams and Diane Lane returning alongside Cavill from Man of Steel.

Whoever was chosen to play Batman was bound to whip up a ton of controversy given not only the success of MoS but of Nolan’s Bat-trilogy (not to mention Burton’s two classics), with names including Ryan Gosling and Joseph Gordon-Levitt being frequently suggested.

But Affleck of course, regardless of his stellar work in Argo and many others, will always be remembered to comic fans as Daredevil in the much maligned 2003 film. Were Affleck to be directing, the tone of comments would perhaps be far more positive, but the actor does tend to collect a fair number of Golden Raspberry Awards when paired with a less than gold-standard director.

The comics industry was, of course(!), quick to react.

Start your engines!


  1. I remember the outrage over the casting of Heath Ledger and the sounds of pins dropping at the casting of Robert Downey. The internet has no idea what it wants at any given moment.

  2. Are people upset because he was in Daredevil or something? I dunno, I think Warner Bros, DC and Man Of Steel have so much ill will among the echochamber or Comics Internet that any casting choice would have been objected to.

    But the same people will drop a deuce in their trousers when a wrestler gets cast in a Marvel movie…

  3. Someone should point out to Andy Khouri that Affleck’s Oscars are for writing and directing, not for acting.
    And, actually, he hasn’t actually shown “the acting chops to create a layered portrayal,” especially not as a leading man; he’s much much better as a character actor.
    Yes, time will tell, but I had hoped Affleck had actually resigned himself to not being a leading man, and decided to go with his strengths. Oh, well.

  4. Well that’s just wicked retahded.
    Then again, he was da bomb in Phantoms, yo.
    Meh. I think the movie is already going to be crappy anyway. Maybe if he was also writing and directing it, instead of Goyer and Snyder, the damn thing might not suck. I think he can be a good actor. I think he could work in the role. Heck, this might work better than his Matt Murdock.

    Plus, eh. I see Gotham as more a New England city than just New York. You need that Puritan and Lovecraftian base to it, so a Bostonian cast in the part is neat. Though he’s more working class than some rich Kennedy cousin, but I guess he’s rich enough now to channel that. Plus there’s that little thing called acting.

    And we all know, somewhere, right now, Kevin Smith is having a mental meltdown.

    Oh and they should cast Matt Damon as Aquaman and they need to do a Brave and the Bold movie where they go on wicked outrageous adventures together.

  5. They should cast Damon as Gordon and have him give a speech, “Every day I turn on the signal and you show up outta nowhere. And we go out. We fight some crimes, and protect the city, and it’s great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the station and when I get to the door, ’cause I think, maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll light the signal and you won’t be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don’t know much, but I know that. ”

    Then you can have Robin Williams can be Hugo Strange and tell Bruce that his parents death wasn’t his fault.

  6. I’m more curious about the more than obvious height difference between actors….Affleck is 6’3”….Cavill is 6’0”….can’t Imagine them not fixing that and making sure each actor was the same height….but just imagine an older Batman literally looking down on a younger Superman…lol. To funny.

    And by the way….Affleck will be fine as Batman. It’s not like the character needs a Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade like transformation….he will be fine…

    I just hope the overall story is better than what they gave us in Man of Steel…and to some extant….The Dark Knight Rises.

  7. “He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man … ” Spoken like a man who has never seen a Ben Affleck movie. Can’t act. Can’t fight or do action scenes. A good looking dullard, this guy is an empty suit. Which suits the suits fine, I guess.

  8. Is there any way Affleck can direct the movie, too? Because I’d much rather see the product of an Oscar-winning director than Zack Snyder.

  9. The albatross around the next of this project is and always will be WB management. Adding Affleck to the mix is just another player who has the clout to tell the upper office to stay the fuck out of the way.

  10. The Jim Carrey character in Kick Ass 2 would be perfect for a big-screen version of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns. Looks and sounds just like a Frank Miller character.

    Affleck? Dull and wooden. But so were Kilmer, Clooney, and Bale, so he’ll fit right in. The villians are the most interesting parts of the Bat-movie franchises anyway.

  11. On the basis of Man of Steel, I’m unlikely to see the movie anyway, but I don’t understand the mass hysteria about Ben Affleck. He’s a pretty good actor, probably a better character actor than a leading man to be honest about it. It is true that he has been in more than a few bad movies. Well, so have a lot of actors. Michael Caine has made a career out of them. Bruce Willis good Bad movie: Good movie ratio gets larger every year. Robert De Niro has been in a fair number of turkeys. Robert Downey Jr….well, have you ever seen Too Much Sun? The Shaggy Dog? US Marshalls? Anything in those that suggest that he would become one of the most beloved movie characters of the last decade.

    Affleck was great in Hollywoodland, The Town, Argo, Chasing Amy amongst others. Yes he has Gigli and Reindeer Games on his cv as well, but I don’t think that he’s particularly proud of them either.

    Daredevil wasn’t brilliant, but is was a decade ago and a lot of the movies problems were nothing to do with his performance. The script and direction…well let’s be charitable and say that they could have used a little more work.

    For my part, I am little surprise to see Ben Affleck doing this. The large truck full of money being backed up to his house must have persuaded him…as it would most us to be honest. I thought that he was doing something interesting in his own movies, taking a similar tack to that of George Clooney as an actor/director/producer. Plus I read a comment a couple of years ago where he referred to playing a superhero as a source of humiliation (I’m sure that you can find the actual quote online if you’re interested).

  12. I remember the outrage over the casting of Heath Ledger and the sounds of pins dropping at the casting of Robert Downey. The internet has no idea what it wants at any given moment.

    Uh, the comic community on the net wanted Robert Downey Jr to be Tony Stark for years before the movie came out. What are you even talking about?

  13. Xenos said: “Then again, he was da bomb in Phantoms, yo.”

    Batman was the bomb in Mask of the Phantasm, yo!

  14. I’m open-minded about Affleck, since, as I mentioned elsewhere, I learned not to underestimate him a long time ago. The problems with “Daredevil” weren’t Affleck’s fault. He did a good job with the hand he was dealt.

    By the way #1: If I’m a Warner Brothers marketing person, I’m doing the “happy dance” right about now. There’s nothing that garners (no pun intended) publicity better than the Hollywood equivalent of a quarterback controversy. They’ll be milking this clear through to the film’s release, racking up a billion dollars worth of free publicity in the process.

    By the way #2: If I’m Zack Snyder, and Affleck makes a suggestion or two or three during filming, I’ll sure be listening.

  15. Why all the foofaraw over Affleck? Batman is an existing character; how Affleck portrays him will not (shouldn’t) affect how Batman comics fans see him, nor will success of the movie affect sales of Batman comics.

    A strong negative reaction from a pro might mean that he’s envisioning Batman as he’d write/cast/direct him in one film–and Affleck isn’t the guy.

    If I were a Batman fan, I’d be worried that writing him as older for the film might change how he’d be handled in the future, in films and maybe even in the comics. How did people who loved Waller’s novel The Bridges of Madison County react to the film, which many critics thought was better than the novel?

    Could Batman work as a hero in a straight suspense film, or will people always go to see him, not the story in the film?


  16. Affleck will be as good as the rest of the movie. Unfortunatley, if Man of Steel was any indication, the movie won’tbejalsjf.

  17. Affleck was fine as George Reeves in HOLLYWOODLAND. I don’t see a problem with him as Bruce Wayne.

  18. If DC has ANY brains they’ll back out of this before they end up paying off his contract like they did when Nick Cage was cast as Superman.

    Casting isn’t just a question of “do they have talent?” Affleck has shown that he has talent behind the camera but he’s just not right for this role. William H. Macy is an amazing actor who has shined in a variety of roles but I wouldn’t imagine him for the role either.

    Also, remember that fans weren’t happy with the casting for the Green Lantern movie either, remember how that worked out.

    Now, if they were doing a Booster Gold movie with Damon as Blue Beetle, I’m there!

  19. I just saw Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder and Affleck does a fine job playing a stick, wich it seem’s to be what Malick intended. You have to admire Affleck’s range of portraying sticks, it also fits with Snyder’s kind of filmaking in that he does not give a fuck about the acting in front of his camera.

    In the end the film will be a hit, everybody at WB will be happy, fans wont stop talking about it for a couple of weeks and hopelly Affleck will be directing again because as a filmaker the man turns interesting stuff. And maybe they’ll announce J Lo as Wonder Woman in the JL flick.

  20. I remember the fan outrage over Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman. Those fans had to eat crow when the movie came out.

    Affleck is a fine actor and a better director. (I actually liked Daredevil; it was no masterpiece, but it wasn’t an excrutiating experience like Howard the Duck, Batman and Robin, or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.) I don’t expect a disaster.

    The most amazing thing about this is: they’re actually casting an American actor to play an American superhero! I thought that wasn’t allowed anymore.

  21. So, then does this mean they have a script? I’m willing to give Batfleck a chance, but I’m a little worried that there seems to be no script for a $200 million (going by MOS’s budget) that’s due in 2 years. Plus why is Snyder directing again?

  22. To paraphrase Mall Rats: I wonder if Batman will fuck Superman in an uncomfortable place. Like a Volkswagen.

  23. Before I invoke the Michael Keaton Rule (You shall not comment on the casting of an actor until you have seen the movie), let me just put out one name that should lay this all to rest:

    Daniel Craig. Three Bond movies, domestic box office: $639 Million.

    Now, this is brilliant on DC’s part. Announced Thursday night, it flames high on Friday, trending on “Hot Stories” on Google News. Add the slow news cycle on the weekend, allowing for news outlets to add more analysis and discussion.

    This is up there with Marlon Brando getting paid $3.7 Million and 11.75% of the box office for 13 days of work. Or casting Jack Nicholson as The Joker. ($6 Million, cut of the box office, cut of the merchandising)

    …and… DC has yet to announce the villain. Give it a few months…

  24. Jack Nicholson got paid $60 million for Batman as well as a cut of the profits, merchandise and getting hin name first in credits. Affleck is a fine actor, but the fact that they don’t even have a script is actually the main reason to be worried, seriously they have no script, have the cast announce and a date ready but no script? This soinds like a DiDio move

  25. He is a decent actor, just not very good in action thrillers. He just doesn’t have the Alpha male thing that the good super heroes actors get by body, swagger, or sheer presence. I had the same reservations about Michael Keaton, but thankfully he did great. Maybe Ben just might surprise us.

  26. Movies are often announced with a start date but no (finished) script, especially in the modern franchise era. The date has to be set well in advance, to make sure the action figures, McDonald’s cups and other merchandise is ready.

    This means movies that need more time in post-production (editing, scoring, etc.) have to be rushed into theaters to meet the target date. No studio wants to invoke the wrath of Wal-Mart and other companies that have tie-ins planned.

    I don’t like this system, and I think it’s stupid, but that’s how it is — and it’s been that way ever since George Lucas showed that merchandising could rake in billions, even without the Disney name attached.

  27. IMHO, it’s just about money. DC/WB simply wants more By making combined film with each of these superhero products, they will (hopefully) bag the gross sales of two films for the approximate cost of one. This should confirm to DC/WB that the fans are right, and will support the proposed ensemble Justice League movie.
    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the redesign of Lobo has something to do with it. If old Lobo is part of the Justice League movie, he’d be CGI all the way. Now with the new improved (?) Lobo, he’ll be cheap (i.e. a hunky guy in a tight suit with minimal use of CGI) and score high in the right target demographic to bring in significant revenue from both domestic and international ancillary markets.

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