Justice League director Zack Snyder reveals his second choice to play Batman in the DC Extended Universe had Ben Affleck passed on the role.
Justice League director Zack Snyder reveals who would’ve played Batman in the DC Extended Universe had Ben Affleck passed. Despite ultimately looking like he’s straight out of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, the casting of Affleck in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) was a divisive decision. On top of Affleck’s distracting status as a household name, his previous foray into the superhero genre via Daredevil (2003) had proven unsuccessful. Still, Snyder stuck by the actor as his first choice to play a jaded version of Bruce Wayne/Batman in his mid-40s.
Following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck went on to reprise his role in Suicide Squad and Justice League. Affleck has arguably portrayed the duality of Bruce Wayne and his alter ego better than any of his predecessors and has silenced even his most vigorous critics. Before the lackluster reception of Joss Whedon’s Justice League (2017), Affleck was supposed to write, direct, and star in a solo film, The Batman, seeing his Dark Knight squares off against Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke—which is set up at the end of Snyder’s Justice League. The latter has only reinvigorated interest in further appearances by “Batfleck” in upcoming outings like The Flash.
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During a recent interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast promoting Netflix’s Army of the Dead, Snyder talked about how Affleck had many reservations about initially taking on the role. He also revealed who was next in line to pick up the cowl:
“Matthias Schoenaerts… I was talking to him a lot about it. He never got in the suit, but I did do a bunch of mock-ups of him because Ben was on the fence. And I don’t blame him. Everyone should be on the fence when you’re asked, ‘Do you want to play Batman?'”
Taking on the role of any superhero—let alone one as beloved as Batman—usually means dealing with internet trolls, committing to multiple movies, and getting in fantastic physical shape. In addition to these concerns, Snyder spoke on how Schoenaerts didn’t feel appropriate playing a forty-something Bruce Wayne while he was in his thirties. Audiences probably know Schoenaerts from The Old Guard (2020), Red Sparrow (2018), and The Danish Girl (2015). That said, he’s a relatively unknown actor compared to Affleck, which would’ve put him in a position similar to that of Henry Cavill in Man of Steel (2013) had Schoenaerts decided to fight Superman.
Given his passionate camp of defenders/advocates, Affleck made the right call. Joss Whedon’s Justice League may have mismanaged the character arc, but Snyder’s Justice League redeemed Batfleck and gave fans a glimpse of his would-be future had Warner Bros. continued the Snyder-Verse. Their new DC universe is poised to contain multiple Batmen, with Affleck and Michael Keaton appearing in The Flash, and Robert Pattinson set to play an entirely new version of Batman in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. As for Schoenaerts, it’s simply a matter of what could have been.
More: The Snyder Cut Reshoots Added the Perfect Ending For Affleck’s Batman
Source: Happy Sad Confused
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- The Suicide Squad (2021)Release date: Aug 06, 2021
- DC Super Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman 2 (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam 2 (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
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