Could Ben Affleck Be A Kinder, Gentler Batman?

Ben Affleck as BatmanWith Variety reporting that Ben Affleck might direct a Justice League movie, and Deadline reporting that Ben Affleck won’t direct a Justice League movie , it’s unknown for sure what is really going to happen. However, if Variety is correct, they also suggested that Ben Affleck might be taking a role in the Justice League movie as well as directing. Comicbook.com’s Russ Burlingame did a little speculation on exactly who Ben Affleck might play, and while he said the Batman role was unlikely, wouldn’t it be interesting if Ben Affleck did go for that role?

The complication with Ben Affleck playing Batman is that Warner Bros. is also aiming to relaunch the Batman franchise. If Affleck played Batman in the Justice League, he would likely be contractually bound to be Batman in the reboot. There are several reasons why Warner Bros and Ben Affleck might not want this. On Affleck’s side, he might not want to be tied down to acting in a major ongoing franchise while his directing career is taking off. On Warner Bros. side, they might not want to reboot Batman with an actor who is pushing forty. They would likely only be able to get three films out at best before Affleck would be too old, and they would have to reboot again.

However, one piece of advice that Christopher Nolan offered whoever reboots Batman is to ignore what he did. His point being that the new director should follow his own vision for the character. With Nolan having defined the dark and gritty interpretation of Batman on film, any director who tried to copy what Nolan did would inevitable be criticized for doing the same thing. The challenge will be re-inventing Batman in a way that offers up something new, and Ben Affleck could very well be the answer. Instead of the dark, driven Batman played by Christian Bale, Ben Affleck could play more to the intellectual and detective skills of Batman.

Also, by allowing elements of his own personality to shine through into the role, Affleck could make Batman more relatable as an everyday guy. In essence, Affleck would be a kinder, gentler Batman who relies on his mental ability to solve crimes. This direction would also solve a potential dilemma for Warner Bros. in relation to the Aurora shootings. As much as we would like to believe the tragedy shouldn’t affect the Batman movies going forward, the reality is that it will. Warner Bros. is already reshooting scenes of The Gangster Squad that would make audiences feel uncomfortable in light of the Aurora shootings. When Batman is rebooted, Warner Bros. will likely need to exercise special care that they don’t come under criticism for making the film to dark or to violent. Turning the next Batman reboot into a detective thriller with an everyman like Ben Affleck in the role might be a great solution to rebooting Batman. It would certainly be a better solution than going “campy” like 1997’s Batman & Robin, which is what every fan fears the most.