Four years ago today, Ben Affleck was announced as the next actor to portray the iconic character of Bruce Wayne/Batman on the silver screen.
The casting of Affleck came shortly after Zack Snyder revealed at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 that rather than a sequel to Man of Steel, Warner Bros. would be building out the DC Extended Universe with what would ultimately be titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The film would serve to introduce the caped crusader and set up future installments of the franchise including Wonder Woman and Justice League as two of the most legendary superheroes of all time were seen on screen together for the first time in history.
As with the casting of most actors stepping into the shoes of an iconic role, the announcement of Affleck was met with a mixed reception but ultimately managed to win over even the most skeptical of fans with his performance in BvS, even if they didn’t agree with the fundamental differences seen in the character in the film such as Batman brutally murdering criminals. But Snyder brought to life a Batman fans had never seen before as Bruce was left questioning his crusade after the people of Earth learned of Superman, resulting in the Dark Knight abandoning his rule to not kill while was pursuing a vendetta to destroy Superman, convinced he was a threat to humanity.
In addition to starring, Affleck was also tapped to co-write a standalone Batman film with DC creative chief Geoff Johns before the actor was later announced to also be directing the film as well. But during Affleck’s press tour for Live by Night, the actor first revealed he was more concerned with the quality of the film than he was the release date and that the movie would happen when and if they get the right script together. The original script from Ben Affleck and DC creative chief officer Geoff Johns featured Deathstroke as the main villain which had Joseph Mangianello cast in the role of Slade Wilson, however, Affleck then stepped down from his role as director after he and the studio came to the agreement that he could not put forth his desired level of quality while juggling so many different responsibilities on the project.
Not long after, War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was announced to be taking over for Affleck as the director on the project. Reeves confirmed during the press tour for Apes that the Batman stand alone project would be starting over with a completely new story, leaving it unclear as to whether or not the film would still feature Manganiello as the super villain. But it was at San Diego Comic-Con that the controversy reached its boiling point. A report emerged the day before the Warner Bros. presentation that the studio was working on a plan to exit Affleck in his role as the caped crusader from the DC extended universe, however, Affleck squashed that rumor when he assured he was very much still committed to playing the character for as long as the studio would have him. As someone who was mere feet from Affleck when he said this, I can tell you the actor looked to be rejuvenated by the energy of the DC fandom in Hall H that morning.
As for the production of the standalone Batman film, principal photography is not expected to begin until next year. But for now, fans will be able to see Affleck reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in this fall’s superhero epic Justice League which follows Batman and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) as they attempt to form the Justice League in time to save the Earth from Steppenwolf, the uncle of Darkseid. Affleck has confirmed that the Batman seen in the next installment of the DCEU will be a much more heroic take on the character, closer to the Batman fans know from the comics which should help to win back over fans who were left upset over the killing done by the hero in BvS.
Justice League stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Barry Allen/The Flash, Ray Fisher as Victor Stone/Cyborg, Henry Cavill as Clark Kent/Superman, Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Amber Heard as Mera, Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.
“Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.”
Justice League hits theaters November 17, 2017.
5 Best Batman Moments Of The DCEU So Far
The DC Extended Universe is starting to slowly become a fully realized universe with several major heroes already being introduced. One of them being the Dark Knight himself: Batman. Ben Affleck portrayed a dark and tortured version of Bruce Wayne in 2016’s Batman V. Superman and in Suicide Squad. His take on the character set the tone of the universe and provided some excellent moments that stood apart from the actors who have portrayed Batman in the past. The DCEU has offered him some great moments and while I got a chance to look at Superman’s best moments so far, it is now time to look at the iconic Detective.
Here are the 5 greatest Batman moments of the DCEU so far.
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