Since he took the role as Batman, there has been a heated debate over how well Ben Affleck would be received as the caped crusader. Unfortunately, it turns out that believing Affleck could play Batman is not where most of the criticism of his selection for the role has come from. Affleck has been the source of much speculation throughout the industry, and compared to other DC or Marvel heroes in film, there seems to be nothing stable about his future in the role.
No one seems certain about his desire to write and direct a solo Batman movie, and rumors now are that Warner Bros. and Affleck are once again at odds over creative direction and strategy when it comes to the next installment of the character. Does the studio love him? Do they want someone else?
For his part, speculation is that Affleck is getting annoyed playing the role. While he has publicly said that he loves "being" Batman, he's not fond of the fact that it takes up all of his time, no one wants to talk about anything else, and he's not ready to make a piece of garbage for the sake of putting out another film. His track record for living up to those promises has not been good. The movies he's been in as Batman have been critically slammed. And while they've managed to make money, fans and the studio may want to hit the refresh button.
Not everyone agrees, though. Some fans think he's the best Batman yet, and there are sound arguments as to why they think so. Here are eight reasons Affleck should leave the role as Batman and seven reasons he should stay.
15 Should Leave: Losing Interest
Being Batman should be considered an honor. This is not some part that you just take or approach with a half-as*ed style knowing that the success of the name will do most of the work. And to his credit, Ben Affleck was pumped to get the role, took it seriously, got in shape, and was ready to be the best Batman ever. Some say he succeeded. Today, while he admitted he still loves the character and the idea of being Batman,
it's clear that he's become annoyed with everything else that comes with the job—from the press to the constant questions and the expectations that come with ensuring the films are not a flop.
The disputes over the scripts and who is doing what when it comes to production has weighed on him and, in a way, soured him. He's already spoken about looking for a gentle way to exit the role.
14 Should Stay: Confusing For Fans If He Goes
If Affleck stays in the role, it helps the entire franchise moving forward.
The very least Warner Bros. can do is keep things consistent for fans even if they are used to a new actor every few years.
13 Should Leave: People Aren't Digging His Portrayal
There are some who will argue that Affleck has been the best version of Batman citing his size, fighting style, and ability to find the true psyche of the character. Others hated the notion that he was pegged for the role and really hate it now that the movies haven't been well received.
Only two years removed from his initial performance as Batman, Affleck feels like old news, and many are arguing that the franchise needs a reboot.
That's not good. The fact that everyone is reading about the constant battle between him and the studio or the delays and rumors he wants to leave make it hard to concentrate on how good the next movies might be. Fans deserve better. If the role were given to someone else, it might feel like a clean slate. Maybe he was "too big" a star to take the part.
12 Should Stay: He's A Creative Perfectionist
Fans are seeing Affleck as hard to work with while unsure of himself and the films. Much of the reason that's happening is likely due to the fact that as a director, writer, and actor, Affleck is extremely thoughtful, careful, and considerate about what he makes. That has to translate into issues when other creative minds are working on projects together. It should mean good things for the films themselves if everyone can get on the same page.
Nobody wants Affleck or anyone behind the Batman films to make a piece of garbage, and as the movies come out to less-than-stellar reviews, the pressure to make a better movie each time goes up.
It's no wonder why he seems to get so frustrated with the press who are constantly asking about the status of the new films. He's inconsistent, saying in one breath that he's excited and in another, for people to cool their jets and that when things are right, the films will move forward.
11 Should Leave: Better For Matt Reeves
When Affleck was first pegged for the role of Batman, you could tell that he was excited even if fans weren't completely sold. He'd signed on to portray the character in multiple appearances and write and direct his own standalone Batman film. Then, as the press began to pressure him about where these films were at or the lack of critical success of the films he'd already starred in, his story started to change. Eventually, director Matt Reeves stepped in to take on the new Batman film.
Affleck has tried to be positive and act excited about the news but you can tell he's bothered by the fact that he's not going to be making his own Batman standalone.
It's bound to cause issues between the director and the actor if the two try to hash this film out together. Affleck will have his ideas, and we already know Reeves has his (including potentially not using Affleck). Affleck leaving gets him out of the way of Reeves to make the best version of the film he can.
10 Should Stay: Closest Looking Batman Yet
You can argue that with any name billed to wear the bat suit, the suit does most of the work. But, it's hard not to suggest that perhaps more than any other actor before him, Affleck is built for the role.
He looks like Bruce Wayne and Batman based on his size, his features, and his attitude. He's not too small, he's not too young, and he's believable.
He's got that important jawline that every Batman actor needs to have. He had hair implants to give him the peak he needed to look like Wayne out of the graphic novels, and he does a pretty bang-up job of serving a lot of people's tastes for what Batman should look and feel like. There is no way to have every fan love every choice for the role but there are few fans who suggest that Affleck just doesn't look like a Batman or a Bruce Wayne.
9 Should Leave: Separates Batman From Zack Snyder
It has become increasingly clear that Warner Bros. and DC are bailing on the vision of Zack Snyder. Snyder got the ball rolling with Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman but there are many who didn't love the tone he set for the franchise moving forward. And when he bailed on Justice League and cost the studio millions of dollars in reshoots, it was pretty much a done deal that he and his vision were out. Then, Wonder Woman proved to be a huge hit (a film as polar opposite from Snyder's movies as possible), and that sealed the deal. Unfortunately, sometimes, you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
If DC is looking to remove any traces of Snyder from the films, removing Affleck sends a clear message that the franchise is moving into another direction.
Fans on board with Snyder's departure might be on board with this kind of move too.
8 Should Stay: He's Got The Troubled Soul Part Down Pat
True fans of the character know that Batman is not a good guy. He's tortured and confused, he's evil and good, and he makes terrible decisions for a cause that he believes in (even if that cause has holes in it). Ben Affleck had that part of the character down pat and he wasn't the goofy George Clooney-type pal out to save the world and be a mentor to Robin and Batgirl. You watch Ben Affleck's performances and you see pain, grief, and hardship.
Fans who truly love Batman shouldn't be excited of the prospect that they might have to give up that quality in the character.
This isn't all Affleck's doing, and perhaps a new director and new actor can pull that out of the Batman role. However, some credit has to be given to Affleck who is a fan and knew what he wanted Batman to feel like.
7 Should Leave: He's Given Up
We've discussed it already but it's worth repeating that Affleck was truly excited to take on the Batman role. There was no doubting his commitment level as he got in the best shape of his career and changed his look and even made sure during interviews to tell anyone that would listen that he was ready to do the character justice. The Affleck we often see now in interviews doesn't look like the same guy. He talks about having other things on his plate, transitioning out of the role because he can't do it forever,
and he's not nearly in the kind of shape he was in to play the part the first time around.
His portrayal in Justice League almost appeared phoned in at times, and that leads people to worry that if he's not truly invested in the part, the next time he plays the role, he'll be as bad as he's been in some of his huge flops.
6 Should Stay: He's Built For The Role
Different from the fact that he's the closest-looking Batman yet, some have argued that he was built to play the part. His fighting style and the warehouse scene in Batman V. Superman made true believers out of the naysayers. He's the right age, the right height, the right affluence, and seems like a natural after having been seen play the part. This is not always the easiest thing to find in an actor to play the part. For example,
if Warner Bros. and Matt Reeves moved to an actor like Gyllenhaal, some might argue that he's too young or too small.
Every new actor coming aboard gets a flurry of fans who find reasons why he's not a good choice. There will be people who realize that they miss Affleck even if they didn't like the idea of him as Batman at first.
5 Should Leave: Other Actors Want The Role
If Affleck leaves, there won't be a shortage of actors ready and willing to take on the part. While it's a huge paycheck, there will be guys like Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, John Hamm, or Ryan Gosling, Batman is not just something you do and move on. Actors who have done so (we're looking at you, Val Kilmer), have seen a bitter end to their film careers.
If Affleck is tired of the gig or wants to phone in the role, let someone else take it on. They'll meet the challenge with enthusiasm and passion, and there is a chance that they'll make it great again. These are great actors who are known for being the best at what they do. Batman deserves nothing less. Affleck was once a fan, and whoever takes on the role will likely be as well. It's always better to have an actor play the part if he truly wants it.
4 Should Stay: Loves Batman
In saying that another actor might want it more than Ben Affleck, perhaps we're writing off his love for the Batman character too soon. It could be that Affleck isn't sick of Batman. It could be that he's sick of the politics and uncertainty from the studio and that it's made his love for playing "their version of Batman" a bit less exciting. When rumors swirled that Affleck was leaving the part at the San Diego Comic-Con, he took the stage and said:
“I’m the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest. It’s amazing. I know there was speculation and rumors about me not directing. I would be an ape on the ground for Matt Reeves. I’m really blown away and excited, and it’s a great time for the [DC Extended Universe].”
This is a far cry from describing someone who doesn't want to gig any longer. It could be that the pressure of not having to direct is what he wants.
3 Should Leave: So He Can Get Back To What He's Good At
For all the knocks he's taken since being given the role, there's one thing that fans should remember: Ben Affleck is extremely talented. Sure, he's had some flops and terrible movies, but this is also the guy who directed and starred in Argo, a film that won Best Picture. This was not a movie that he was simply given and was made with no hard work. He poured his blood, sweat, and tears into it, much the same way he did in Gone Baby, The Town, and Good Will Hunting.
The argument here is that he needs to get back to projects like this to save his career.
His most recent films haven't been the huge blockbuster hits expected, and he might need a film that gets him back on track, and perhaps Batman isn't it.
2 Should Stay: He's Got Something To Prove
Of course, the argument that he needs to move away from Batman to find a project that resurrects his career is an argument that can be made for him sticking around. Affleck has a lot of pressure on him to deliver in his next role or project. The Batman and DC films have been profitable, even if not critically-acclaimed, but
he needs to hit one of these movies out of the park for a home run.
A new actor might not feel the same pressure. As such, there is a chance that the next Batman movie (if Affleck has a lot to do with how it's made) will be great. It could be argued that no one wants it more than he does, and that's why fans have seen the frustrated Affleck in the media lately. He's taking this to heart more than we realize.
1 Should Leave: He's Been Fooled
One could argue that at the end of the day, Affleck is getting kicked around and cheated by the studio. He wanted to direct and star in the next Batman standalone film, but it appears that Warner Bros. isn't sure that's what they want. That's not the deal Affleck signed on for.
There is an argument too that all the blame taken for the film's lack of critical success is being placed on Affleck's shoulders because he's the main face of the DCEU, and that's a burden he shouldn't have to take on.
It's not his fault that the movies weren't well-written or re-shot. Some people wouldn't blame him for being fed up with the behind-the-scenes garbage and wanting out. Affleck doesn't need the gig. He's a made actor in Hollywood. He wants it, but he'll always get opportunities.