Well at this point most people have heard, but if you haven’t: Ben Affleck is the new Batman. He will be in the Man of Steel sequel as Bruce Wayne and many people went from being shocked to really annoyed to the point that here in New York, “better Batman than Ben Affleck” has trended on twitter all day. The problem that Ben Affleck is going to have winning the audience over is that Christian Bale did such a wonderful job as Batman, Ben might not be able to compete with his portrayal. Along with that, the last Batman movie just came out last year and is still fresh in people’s mind.
For this generation Christian Bale’s name will forever be synonymous with Batman because he took a well known character and made it his own. Bale’s job was made harder because most people knew who Bruce Wayne was and already had an idea of how he should be played. Robert Downey Jr.( Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Chris Evans (Captain America), all had the luxury of making these characters their own because there wasn’t any other portrayals to compare them to. So they got to play the role the way they wanted without the audience automatically comparing them to another actor. But the good news for Ben, is that playing a role that has already been established by another actor can be done successfully.
When they announced that there would be another Spider-Man movie and Toby Maguire was not going to be Peter Parker people complained that it was too soon to reboot the series. But, when The Amazing Spider-Man came out, only 5 years after the last Spider-Man movie, Andrew Garfield did a good job of making the character his own and adding a new dimension to the character. His Peter Parker was more confident and funny while Maquire’s was sort of dorky and funny. The Amazing Spider-Man also set itself apart by bringing in new characters and breathing new life into the franchise and giving the non comic book readers a look into a different side of Spider-Man that they may not have known about.
For Ben Affleck to pull off this role he will need to not only make it his own, but somehow charm the audience enough that they aren’t comparing it to Christian Bale’s performance which was so amazing and so intense and still fresh in people’s mind. While I think that he has a tough road ahead and will have an even tougher time separating his Batman from Bale’s, I think he can do it. I mean this is the guy who wrote Good Will Hunting while living on someone’s couch.