Ben Affleck on the Difference Between His Batman & Christian Bale’s

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 9th, 2015 at 11:58 pm,

Ben Affleck on Difference Between His Batman and Christian Bale Ben Affleck on the Difference Between His Batman & Christian Bales

Batman vs. Superman won’t hit theaters for another year-and-a-half – which means we likely won’t be seeing any official footage or imagery for at least another year – and yet news and rumors pertaining to the film seem like a daily occurrence. Before Thanksgiving, Warner Bros. registered potential titles for the film; yesterday, Man of Steel star Henry Cavill talked about Ben Affleck being cast as Batman; and earlier today, Affleck himself discussed his excitement for the project.

Now, in a separate interview, Affleck has talked even more extensively about being cast as Batman, arguably the most popular and recognizable superhero the world over. Why did he decide to take the role, knowing full well that the response from fans might be cruel? What differentiates his Batman from that of Christian Bale’s in The Dark Knight trilogy? Which regrettable movie is he trying to make up for by taking part in Batman vs. Superman? Read on to find out.

Courtesy of Mike Fleming and Playboy Magazine – via Latino Review – Ben Affleck talked about why he eventually agreed to play the Caped Crusader, despite his early resistance to the role:

“When they asked if I would be Batman, I told them I don’t see myself in the role and I was going to have to beg off. They said I’d fit well into how they were going to approach the character and asked me to look at what the writer-director, Zack Snyder, was doing. The stuff was incredible. [...]It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited. All of a sudden I had a reading of the character. When people see it, it will make more sense than it does now or even than it did to me initially.”

So what is it about Ben Affleck that fits so well with Zack Snyder’s vision of Batman vis-a-vis the world of Man of Steel? I have to confess, while I think Affleck has been great in plenty of roles and will almost certainly do well in Batman vs. Superman, I don’t typically associate him with words like “old,” “tired,” and “weary.” Sure,  at 41, he’s a decade-plus older than Cavill, but he’s a youthful-looking guy. He’s not particularly grizzled or worn or wrinkled.

Batman in Frank Millers Dark Knight Returns Ben Affleck on the Difference Between His Batman & Christian Bales

Grizzled Batman

Which isn’t to say that he can’t play grizzled. You certainly saw a more weary and hardened individual in his performance as Tony Mendez in Argo. Still, I think there’s more to this Batman story – like maybe Affleck is still in line to direct the inevitable DC superhero team-up film, Justice League, as was the rumor so long ago.

On how his Batman will differ from previous portrayals of the character, particularly Christian Bale’s, Affleck said:

“I don’t want to give away too much, but the idea for the new Batman is to redefine him in a way that doesn’t compete with the Bale and Chris Nolan Batman but still exists within the Batman canon. It will be an older and wiser version, particularly as he relates to Henry Cavill’s Superman character.”

Fortunately, this is what makes Batman such a great character, especially in the reboot-happy world of movies – his versatility. As we’ve written about previously, he’s just about the only superhero who can exist inside of numerous, wildly different genres and aesthetics and tones, and do so with a great degree of success. He can be a sci-fi character, a superhero, a gritty vigilante, the World’s Greatest Detective, a wacky, campy response to the ridiculousness of 1960s comic book tropes, and on and on and on.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that the new take on Batman might be altogether different from Nolan’s iteration – Kevin Smith’s account of seeing the new Batsuit certainly seemed to indicate a complete 180 from the Nolan design – but it’s good to hear it said out loud from one of the principal actors: Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck are definitely not trying to recapture the magic created by Nolan and Bale. This will (seemingly) be a true Bat-reboot, albeit one that doesn’t step on its predecessor’s toes in the process.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in Daredevil Ben Affleck on the Difference Between His Batman & Christian Bales

Finally, Ben Affleck revealed the movie he most regrets making:

“The only movie I actually regret is ‘Daredevil.’ It just kills me. I love that story, that character, and the fact that it got ****ed up the way it did stays with me. Maybe that’s part of the motivation to do Batman.”

While I’m sure Affleck has been/will be paid handsomely for his part in Batman vs. Superman and whatever Batman-related films follow, he does come off as being genuinely interested in making the best movie (and the best Batman) possible. It’s hard not to believe him when he says he thinks the pre-production stuff looks “incredible.”

Weary or not, grizzled or not, this is a guy who clearly didn’t need to sign up to play Batman. Coming off the Academy Award-winning Argo, he could’ve done a hundred other less complicated projects, but something about this one made him want to sign up. Let’s hope that’s a sign of there being something truly “incredible” in store for us. Because let’s face it – if they screw up this adaptation of World’s Finest, it’ll be a while before we ever see a reboot that does it justice.

What say you, Screen Ranters? Are you looking forward to seeing Ben Affleck on the big screen as Batman? Do you want his interpretation to be completely different from Bale’s? Drop us a line in the comments.


Man of Steel 2/Batman vs. Superman hits theaters July 17th, 2015.

Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

Source: Mike Fleming/Playboy [via Latino Review]

Follow Ben Moore on Twitter @benandrewmoore
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  1. I liked daredevil
    hope to like batman vs superman as well.

    • Daredevil wasn’t that bad. I noticed in a lot of articles giving little criticisms of past movies, even beloved blockbusters. Movies are never going to be perfect. Just have fun with them. Who said this Batman will be old and gizzled? All Batman movies have had a bit of the Dark Knight Returns in them but they were not the exact story. This is a new story in Man of Steel. It’s Superman’s movie anyway. Let’s focus more on him. I hope Lex Luthor is in it. Bryan Cranston would be perfect for that role.

  2. I like that he didnt sugar coat his Daredevil comment, he said it like it is. He has matured as an actor and director and I for one am keen to see his portrayal of Batman and his contributions to the DCU

    • I think he is pandering to the audience who will simply eat it up.

      • +1

      • Or perhaps you’re being cynical about it.

        • Maybe not…maybe Affleck isnt giving an interview, he’s giving another acting performance to show how good he is ;) (totally kidding)

          All cynicism aside though, I think he will do a good job with the role and I’m looking forward to it.

    • And a reboot for Daredevil with new actors would be great as well.

      • Apparently that’s happening I’m Netflix. Certainly something to look forward to.

        • I’m Netflix? *ahem* ON Netflix.

  3. A lot of people in another site questioned his regret for Daredevil, “So you don’t regret Gigli?”

    Problem is, I think, unlike Gigli, Daredevil is a timeless story and characters. Affleck’s regret is coming from the fact that his failure in Daredevil movie has caused the property got denied of movie treatment it deserves. It shows how wise and passionate Ben Affleck is in superhero movie business.

  4. You know what I wanna see? One armed pushups. In the vast majority of Batman iterations I’m familiar with Batman does one armed pushups and bale couldn’t even “lift a bloody log.”

    • Me neither. Daradevil was a pretty decent comic book flick, even better than most of the old Spider-Man trilogy or the old Batman flicks back in the 90s… Elektra was bad, but Daredevil wasn’t at all.

      • The Michael Keaton movies were AWESOME!

  5. Ben Affleck will play the Dark Knight – a perfectly ordinary english sentence you might say – BEN AFFLECK will play the DARK KNIGHT.

  6. “…but the idea for the new Batman is to redefine him in a way that doesn’t compete with the Bale and Chris Nolan Batman but still exists within the Batman canon.”

    Oh! Is there a glimmer of hope that they might actually NOT ignore the TDK trilogy altogether? I truly hope so because if they did, I’d be not interested in seeing this “new” version of Batman.

    The question is…which canon…which mythology will the new Batman version embrace? The movie version of TDK or just the general comic book mythology. The only thing I want is to be able to watch this movie as some sort of sequel to TDK. You certainly cannot watch the 90s movies and TDK as part of the same canon / mythology. If this is possible with BvS, I’d be more than happy…

    • When he says canon, he isn’t referring to the Nolanverse. He is referring to the comics. So no, this will have nothing to do with those movies. Let them go.

      Why limit the movies? Why say “all new Batman movies must adhere to Nolan’s rules and fit in that world” when there is so many amazing aspects from the comics that Nolan completely ignored.

      • +1 it’s time people just accepted that TDK was a stand alone trilogy.

        • It’s been stated so many times…I’m pretty sure 90% of fanboys have accepted this. I don’t know how Smike got that from the cannon comment…I saw his comment and laughed.

    • Wait…
      so you thought when he said “canon” he was refering to the Dark Knight Trilogy?

      lmao. Batman “canon” is over 70 years old dude. You CAN ignore the DKT all together and still be within canon.

      Getting real tired of all these young bucks (I assume) that seem to think Nolan created Batman.

      • Technically, the Nolanverse is outside standard Batman Cannon.

  7. good stuff. the more snyder and the cast talk about this movie the more excited I get. I just hope the rumored cameos (wonder woman, flash etc) are false or very small cameos. Wouldn’t want to distract from the main narrative

  8. I like Affleck, I love Snyder’s skill set and what he brings to the table and Batman versus Superman is the most markable choice the studio could have possibly gone with imo.

    I find it very hard to envision Afleck as a hardened and experienced Batman. He may be 40 but he looks 30 and not like he has had a tough ride of things.

    That is of course not a reflection on him as an actor. I used to think he was not very good but in recent years has changed my mind. I hope to have my mind changed again in relation to his casting as the caped crusader but not feeling confident.

    • there is this new invention in movies that can make people seem older… it’s called makeup.


  9. Affleck admits regretting doing Daredevil. Hope he delivers Batman.

  10. affleck is a great director, but bad actor. my expectations are low.

    • My expectations are quite high…Affleck has grown as an actor, has a better understanding of the overall movie-making process (b/c of his directing experience, as well as his acting experiences, both good AND bad), and has an obvious love of the material which will help him interpret his portrayal effectively.

      I look forward to seeing him and Cavill onscreen together…

    • Yes! Anyone who loves Batman should be watching POI! It was created by Jonah Nolan after all. IMO the best show on network television.

      • I totally agree. I like how they have developed the characters, including John’s. Im just sayin’

    • To the moderator of this page, I put the wrong e-mail in my previous post.

  11. directors cut does some justice to Daredevil the only good to come from it was his wife i guess

  12. The Batman from Arkham Origins was a very young version, but I could swear they modeled the character after Affleck. It looks just like Ben in a bat suit (plus like 100lbs of muscle). I can see him playing an older version of THAT batman.

    • and the blackmask looks like Mads Mikkelsen…

  13. As long as Affleck doesn’t do a BatLisp. :)

    • Inconthevable!


      • i do not think that means what you think it means. :)

  14. I Believe in Ben Affleck! Nuff Said!

  15. This Superman vs Batman project feels too akward. Superman and Batman must remain in their own universe, specially if Nolan is producing this. My problem is that The Dark Knight was too realistic. That’s why Dark Knight Rises didn’t feel right. with the memories of TDK (one of the most watched movies in film history), it just wont feel right to see batman share the same universe with he Man of Steel.

  16. This Superman vs Batman project feels too akward. Superman and Batman must remain in their own universe, specially if Nolan is producing this. My problem is that The Dark Knight was too realistic. That’s why Dark Knight Rises didn’t feel right. with the memories of TDK (one of the most watched movies in film history), it just wont feel right to see batman share the same universe with the Man of Steel.

    • I said the same thing about the Spider-Man reboot, but I turned out to be wrong, the new Spider-Man was actually an improvement. I think they have done their due dilligence to separate this from Nolans Dark Knight Trilogy. Especially introducting him in Superman’s movie instead oh his own standalone reboot.

      This is the best way to do it for sure, and all signs point to it standing on its own (as the quotation from Affleck and the whole thesis in this article would indicate…)

  17. I enjoyed Daredevil and I liked Ben Affleck’s take on the character. It had more to do with the writing than any part on Ben for the movie’s failure.

    Ben Affleck is a great actor and has great sensibilities for the most part. I’m not one of the bandwagon jumpers that have to hate on someone just to hate. He’ll be a great Batman, I’m thinking.

  18. Daredevil Theatrical was a bit pants but Director’s Cut was pretty darn good… not cool to see him ripping into it :/

  19. the difference is Bale’s was good (aside from the throat cancer voice) and Affleck’s will suck lol

  20. What no one seems to have actually thought about, well, at least I haven’t seen anyone comment on it yet is whether Ben Affleck is going to play Batman more than one? IS he in it for the long haul, which means the biggest question mark… will he play Batman in the Justice League film, or will Warner/Dc have to once again find someone to fill the bat suit. Will he claim the role for himself and do the next reboots or is this just a one-off?
    It would seem to me that Warner must have laid that out on the table for him as part of his contract stipulation.

    What does everyone else think about that?

    • The way they are running this universe would suggest that he is in more than one film.

      If that’s not the case, though, I think they would be more likely to make it a non Bruce Wayne Batman that continues on via a “Battle for the Cowl” esque story or Batman Beyond or something to that extent. I don’t see them recasting the role again.

    • They wouldn’t have contracted him for one movie. That’s not how these major studios do things, particularly when they’re building a new franchise.

  21. daredevil is fine, is fine in the time that was released… nowdays is just fall really short, but in the moment the hero movies were like daredevil

  22. I have a hunch Affleck will be a humorous Batman.

  23. Im hoping for an ultra-intelligent detective batman who’s many steps ahead of everyone at all times. and cranky too.

    • ^This
      That IS Batman to me.

  24. i thought aflecks only movie where he’s great in is actualy armegeddon, i havent
    liked him in a movie since i have no clue where zack got that inspiration for
    casting, he lacks charisma and has a bland personality for the roll.
    my ultimate batman is still clint eastwood back in his heyday of dirty harry.
    if thier going to re-cast previous superhero
    actors i would have went with hugh jackman as batman any day of the week
    even though he’s not american neither is

    they need a clint eastwood, sean connery type to play batman,
    someone who can be dark and intense but warm and a dry sense of humor
    so you can like and root for them.
    they still
    havent gotten that level of stardom for batman.
    they also miss the
    essense of batman so far in the movies id like to see
    as batman in the comics until the graphic novels isnt
    a vigilante, he’s a rich guy playing policeman/detective, he works for
    commisioner gordon and helps gotham police.

    bale is great as a villan, to snide
    for me personaly as batman, keaton was great as batman, terrible as bruce wayne.

    bale reminds me of billy zane in the phantom in his hero movies, he plays the same
    american psycho rich preppy snide character in all of his hero movies, both terrible
    hero but great villan actors (zane makes great snide rich preppy bad guy roles).

  25. he lacks charisma and has a bland personality for the roll

    This sums it up.

    • I agree with your assessment.

      …and, I am from Boston. rofl…

    • is that a spring roll?

  26. Daredevil was a pretty cool comic flick. So Ben Affleck as the new & grittier Dark Knight. That will be a must see if he’s willing to say how daredevil was a disaster, even when I thought there was none. He’ll be fine, if he’s totally committed to the Worlds Greatest Detective.