It’s probably accurate to say that Ben Affleck was not a popular choice when he was first announced as taking on the role of Batman back in 2013. For our money he actually played the role pretty well in the otherwise underwhelming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and along with his all too brief but satisfying cameo in Suicide Squad it appeared that Bat-Fleck had started to win over his doubters. However one major criticism of his version of the Dark Knight seems to be the major U-turn on the Caped Crusader’s “no kill policy”. In Batman V Superman the character was shown to have a much darker side who had no problems with taking bad guys out for good.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly the actor revealed that we may see a more familiar Batman in the upcoming Justice League movie. Affleck told EW,
‘BvS’ departed a little bit from the traditional Batman. He started out with all this rage directed at Superman because of his coworkers who had died in the fight Superman had with Zod. He was holding on to a lot of anger, in a little bit of an irrational way.”
It’s hard not too agree there, aside from showing what many thought to be unnecessary killings by the Caped Crusader, it also appeared that Batman had lost his way a little and was guilty of irrational thinking which is something that we have never really seen from the character before. It appears that the finale of the film has had a deep affect on this version of Batman which may lead to a more familiar take on the character with Affleck stating,
“[This] is a much more traditional Batman. He’s heroic. He does things in his own way, but he wants to save people, help people. This is more in keeping with the canon of how Batman’s usually been portrayed, and how he’s portrayed vis a vis the Justice League in the comics. This is more the Batman you would find if you opened up your average Batman comic book.”
While this will please a lot of Bat-Fleck fans what is still unclear is how long the actor will remain in the role. There has been a lot of back and forth about whether the actor will sign up for the supposed Batman trilogy of films that are said to lead into the next phase of the DCEU. Affleck was originally hired to direct the feature but pulled out stating that he felt unable to give his full commitment to the dual roles of actor and director. Reports circulated of script problems with new director Matt Reeves allegedly throwing out Affleck’s original script to start all over again, and of the actors reluctance to sign on the dotted line to give his full commitment to the series. There have even been some reports that Warner Bros were looking to replace the 45 year old with a younger actor.
Whilst a lot of the above can be attributed to rumours, Affleck’s brother and fellow actor Casey Affleck seemed to be more definite when speaking in an interview with WEEI Sports Radio. The star of Manchester by the Sea initially joked that his brother was “okay” in the role but then seemed to have let something more serious drop when he said,
“No, I thought he was great. He was great. He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not going to do that movie, I don’t think. Sorry to say. Is that breaking news? Because I was just kind of making that up, I don’t know.”
Whilst this could be just good natured brotherly banter, the younger sibling did appear to back track quickly, so who knows?
Justice League is due for release 17th November 2017.