On August 22, 2013, Warner Bros officially cast Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader to be the replacement for Christian Bale in the post-Nolan era. Ben Affleck’s career as Batman was nothing but ups-and-downs. He went from arguably being the most comic accurate Batman of all time to being replaced as an afterthought recently.
When fans first heard that Ben Affleck would play Batman in Batman V Superman, fans couldn’t help but be hyped. Many people said Ben Affleck couldn’t pull off being Batman and others argued he was perfect for the role. It was polarizing.
Over the course of all time, Ben Affleck’s Batman has appeared in three DCEU movies. Ever since he starred in his first, the hate has seriously diminished. There are still some out there who aren’t too fond of Batfleck but ask around, they are not the majority.
Batfleck’s First Appearance
The day first-look pictures were released of Batfleck, fans went absolutely bat sh*t! Then, he shows up in Batman v Superman and his performance was riveting. A large amount of fans called him the “best Batman.” Whether you agree or not, Zack Snyder’s new take on Batman was game-changing from what we saw in the past. While I didn’t like many things Zack Snyder did with Batman in his movies, Batfleck got my love and respect.
Many of the true comic fans were so happy coming out of Batman V Superman. The violence and brutality are what caught fans off-guard, and that’s to say they liked it a lot. Some might argue that Batfleck was the best part of the movie. While the love for Ben Affleck’s Batman was there, the love for the film (from many) wasn’t.
The response was very divided regarding the movie itself–a 27% on Rotten Tomatoes critically and a 63% audience score. To some, it was the greatest comic book movie ever. To others, it was time to destroy WB and DC for this effort. Box office wise, the movie failed to reach its goal of $1 billion at $873 million.
Still, you can’t deny Batman was fantastic in this film, which leads to…
Batfleck’s Third Appearance
Justice League was Ben Affleck’s Batman 3rd appearance in the DCEU…and soon to be his last. Unlike the response from Batman V Superman, the response from fans and critics weren’t too well panned and received. Many complained Batman told too many jokes. Some said he was underused in the movie. Something was missing from this Batfleck.
Justice League received a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was ripped apart critically and commercially. The movie earned $657.9 million making it one of the biggest flops in comic book movie history considering the budget ($300 million), hype, and belief from the fans.
This was supposed to be DC’s big stamp on the CBM scene. It was their first “Avengers-like” movie. But nothing–not even Joss Whedon–could find some direction among the tremendous mess of Justice League.
What’s Next for Batfleck?
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help believe Ben Affleck was doomed from the start. In all honesty, I feel awful for the guy.
Ben Affleck only got to play murderous Batman, cameo/easter egg Batman. His character was used as a plot device. He never got a chance to play in his own film, as a well-developed and constructed protagonist. From BvS to Suicide Squad to Justice League, he was merely tossed around.
The fans never got to see him show how good of a Batman/Bruce Wayne can really be. He was just there to fill the suit and then WB threw him away. I know Ben Affleck wanted out for a while but I still feel bad for the man. He thought he signed up for a great role only to be replaced in the end.
Not the ending he believed he would get. Not the ending he deserved. Not at all what we thought was going to happen.