Josh Brolin Was in the Running to Play Batman; Responds to Ben Affleck Being Cast

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 9th, 2013 at 2:59 pm,

josh brolin batman ben affleck Josh Brolin Was in the Running to Play Batman; Responds to Ben Affleck Being Cast

There were a handful of candidates floated to portray Batman in Zack Snyder’s developing Man of Steel sequel before left-field candidate Ben Affleck accepted the job, ranging from Matthew Goode – who portrayed Ozymandias in Snyder’s Watchmen comic book adaptation – to lesser-known character actor Max Martini (Pacific Rim) and well-established star Josh Brolin (Labor Day), in addition one of Screen Rant’s own choices, Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy).

Brolin, who stars in director Spike Lee’s Americanized take on the modern Asian cult classic Oldboy later this year, has since confirmed that he was, at one point, a legitimate contender to don the cape and cowl in Snyder’s movie. The actor, much like Affleck, is the appropriate age to play an “older” (read: 30-40 something) Caped Crusader who will clash with Henry Cavill’s less-experienced Kal-El in the Man of Steel followup; not to mention, Brolin is no stranger when it comes to portraying characters with a benign surface that shatters when their primal nature bursts out during acts of violence (see: American Gangster, Gangster Squad, etc.)

However, despite him being qualified for the Batman job, Brolin told The Huffington Post that was only considered for Man of Steel 2 (a.k.a. Batman vs. Superman) and that he never received a formal offer from – nor did Brolin engage in a proper conversation with – Snyder about the possible casting:

“We did. I didn’t have conversations about it, but Zack, that was part of his idea. It just didn’t turn out. It’s OK. It is OK. You know, another scenario might have worked better, but I’m happy for Ben.”

Interestingly, there’s a decent argument to be made that Brolin seems like a more natural fit to play Batman, whereas Affleck is a better match for the character’s Bruce Wayne persona (something that Screen Rant‘s Andrew Dyce touched upon in his article examining the Batfleck casting). Brolin has convincingly portrayed physically-explosive characters before, yet his portrayal of the methodical Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men shows that he can handle both sides of the Caped Crusader’s personality. Thing is, though, Brolin doesn’t wear the conventional playboy look as well as Affleck – who, as he showed in The Town and (to a lesser degree) Argo, can also be serious, broody and threatening when the occasion calls for it.

Ben Affleck Batman Superman movie Josh Brolin Was in the Running to Play Batman; Responds to Ben Affleck Being Cast

As it stands, though, Brolin isn’t worried about the lost opportunity and has joined people like Matt Damon and potential Man of Steel 2 composer Hans Zimmer in throwing his weight behind Affleck as Batman (not least of all because of the online rally against the latter’s casting). To quote Brolin on the situation:

“I’ve never seen such a global reaction in my life. I feel for him, truly. I would not want to be him right now. The reaction becomes so personal. It’s like, ‘F**k this guy, I wish he was dead.’ And you’re like, ‘What? Dude, seriously? This guy is just working like you are. He’s doing the same thing you are. He’s trying to make the best choices he can.’

“I think I might have said that like 15 years ago, but now, because of the Internet, man, I just feel for anybody who gets lambasted at that level. I want him to kick ass and I want everyone to love it and kind of eat their words.”

Are you onboard (or, at the least, wiling to keep an open mind) with Batfleck at this stage? Or would you’ve preferred that someone like Brolin landed the role of the Caped Crusader in the Man of Steel sequel?


Batman vs. Superman/Superman vs. Batman/Man of Steel 2 is slated to begin filming in Michigan by early 2014. The film will open in theaters on July 17th, 2015.

Source: The Huffington Post

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  1. I really don’t understand all the backlash. We haven’t even seen photos or a trailer yet. Why people don’t keep an open mind is beyond me

    • Hurawl?

      • Exactly the kind of eloquence I expect from Nolan’s Batman. Is there not a more clear and pristine voice than Nolan’s Batman? Show me one and I’ll show you a fraud.

        • Nolan’s Batman wasn’t perfect, it was a VERSION of Batman who was very action oriented. But in the comics, he’s meant to be the world’s greatest detective, more sleuthing would be a nice change… Superman for the action film, Batman for the detective films, that way, they feel like different movies.

          • @ Datsun

            Superman isn’t all about action. He also uses his reporter profession to snoop around places, try to use his powers looking for clues cops might miss at a crime scene,etc.


      • I love this. Haha

    • One of my bosses )who is a real jerk)once said he had the world’s most open mind. I told him that was why all the brains fell out!

      • Lmao good one!

    • This!

    • I agree there’s a few reason why Ben is cast

  2. I think I would’ve been more comfortable with Josh Brolin in the role, I mean he is a much better actor and he’s got that frown down in the first image of the article aha.

    I’m perfectly happy with Batfleck though, and if his contract is long term, my guess is maybe he’ll be directing his own Bat flicks and helping with Goyer’s script. If someone came to me with the choice of Affleck or Brolin, hands down Brolin. But if it were Affleck AND directing or Brolin, Affleck for the win. I’m just hoping that’s the case.

    • maybe he’s gonna direct JL (O_O) ….. that could be awesome.

      • Dude, Affleck is an actor/director. He’s going to help create the character BATMAN. He’s also already declined directing a JL film int he past.

        It seems pretty obvious to me that if he’s going to direct anything for DC, it’s gonna be Batman’s stand alone films. He’ll be able to completely shape that with himself in the title role. It’s like he’s being Batman on AND off the set in terms of orchestrating everything.

        I even think this prospect is a part of what made him accept the part.

  3. Sandy, maybe it’s me, but I can’t tell who that last quote is from, either Damon or Zimmer, and both their links redirect to a different quote… Which of ‘m said that last larger quote, or was that still meant to be a quote from Brolin?

    • Sorry, that was Brolin as well.

      I added a note to clarify that.

      • No problem, thanks for the reply!:)

  4. It’s Brolin I believe.

    • @Silrian

  5. Not to diss the guy, but I’m happy Brolin didn’t get it. Affleck wasn’t my first choice, initially, but I prefer him (and his CB fandom and knowledge of Batman) over a lot of names I’ve heard drop in the last month.

    So yeah, I’m definitely not jumping on the bandwagon of hate some narrow minded people have relentlessly. You can not like an actor, but even if say Brolin had been cast, I still would’ve gone in open minded, even though he’d be far from my choice. Because that’s what a real fan does. Both of ‘m are A-list actors. Like Zimmer, Jackman, Amell and more have said, they don’t just hand out these parts to anyone.

    The only ones I can get having no faith in this are those who hated Man of Steel. But if you dug, like, loved or at least somewhat accepted MoS, there’s no reason to spew hate on Affleck currently.

    • I agree. Should be a great movie. Affleck will make a great Bruce Wayne?Batman.

  6. As good as I think the choice of Ben Affleck is, Josh Brolin would have been a better choice. Bummer. Ah well…

    • I think he would have been an awesome, darker Batman but a poor Bruce Wayne. I don’t see Brolin as the playboy billionaire who has a girl on each arm and can make Lois Lane’s eyes wander from Superman.

    • I disagree, but not from the acting side. I love Snyder, I don’t think anybody does CBM better in terms of visuals. But I can’t lie and say he sometimes doesn’t sacrifice substance for style. I think Affleck will bring something to the table Brolin couldn’t (at least not as well) some much needed grounding for Snyder.

  7. I had this great idea. What if Batman were older than Superman and became is mentor! Jeez. What a hack!

  8. Josh Brolin would had been a good choice. I’m still on the fence of Batfleck, I want to be amazed like Heath Ledger did with the joker. I just keep seeing ‘DareDevil,’ over and over in my mind. Poor Ben.

    • Bronlin might have been OK….

    • I understand the negativity that Affleck is getting from DareDevil but I don’t get why people aren’t comparing Brolin to Jonah Hex, when saying they would’ve preferred him. In my opinion that was just as bad as Daredevil. Actually, Jonah Hex was worse than Daredevil…just my opinion. I think Affleck will do great.

      • Jonah Hex was worse than Daredevil. I agree.

        • Meagan Fox was the only good thing about Jonah Hex.

  9. Vin diesel was my #1 choice too bad after boiler room I could see him as Bruce Wayne and he defiantly has the moves. Ben affleck being casted I believe we will see a return of his character from The Town, that’s what he will naturally fall into because of the praise the movie generated and that for him will equate to doing good.

  10. Poor silly little WB, we could of had Josh Brolin and instead you chose Ben Affleck. What a kick in the balls of the fans. What an incredibly stupid move on WB’s part. What’s next, we could have had Karl Urban but he wanted too much money? Probably.

    When this movie tanks, and it will with Ben as Batman, they will have nobody to blame but themselves.

    I can’t wait to see how the WB/DC apologists spin this one.

    • Damn Jack, how did you get so wise?

    • No chance this movie tanks. That’s crazy talk.

    • I’m a Batman fan. Been a fan of the character since 1990 after somehow managing to see the Burton movie despite being 6 years old at the time. He’s the superhero I identify most with.

      I also was on board with the Affleck casting the second I found out about it on this website. Supported, even. Broached the idea with open arms.

      Am I a WB/DC apologist?

      Nope. They screwed with a few properties I liked and released movies like Green Lantern and Superman Returns. They’ve had their share of terrible movies.

      Am I a Ben Affleck fan?

      Nope, most certainly not. He never stood out for me, as a good actor or a bad one. He was just there. Existing but without reaching out to me as a viewer.

      The people who are stuck on him as Daredevil really need to get out more. Smell the roses. Take a breath of fresh air and join the rest of civilisation instead of inhaling recycled oxygen and typing their lugubrious rants on message boards and websites until their worn, blistered fingertips need new bandages.

      Nobody said “That kid from Tears Of The Sun can’t be Batman, what’s wrong with WB/DC casting this Bale guy?”.

      Nobody said “RDJ’s a washed up drug addicted convict, he can’t be Iron Man, have they lost their minds?”

      No, the only people who have lost their minds, and I mean TRULY lost their minds, are those who find any excuse to create their immature and childish images, comments, whatever they do to fill up a few minutes of their miserable existences, hating a man they’ve never met and doing it only because of one bad movie in his resume.

      The exact same people who – in just under 2 years from now – will be shoving those of us who like this casting decision aside to be first in line to buy tickets for the movie that’s stirred up this much “controversy”.

      Get over yourselves. No amount of complaining will change the fact that we have our new Batman. If it affects your life that much, stay away from articles talking about it and save your money come movie release day.

  11. I never really responded to this news even though I didn’t feel he was the right guy for the role. maybe he will do a great job. there are times we think an actor cannot play the part and they blow it away. I prefer now to just wait and see if they can do it, if not they sink their own ship and franchise because it pushes me and others to stop watching and move to something else. I really think with the X-men franchise that if they keep force feeding movies with Wolverine, and magneto as the two main characters then it will become Flat and stale. Weed more of the other main characters in the spot light. as for the avenges I really just want more Hulk solo films, a Namor film, Inhumans film, and a Black Panther film.

  12. I would never seen the film if Josh Brolin got the role. I only seen alittle of Jonah Hex at a friends house on HBO & I knew that film would bomb.

    I rented Daredevil to see Affleck to get a idea if he’d make a good Batman. Some scenes I could see him as Batman from the film but mostly it was Affleck I was seeing. I liked Colin Farrell’s Portrayal of Bullseye more than I did Affleck’s Daredevil alittle more. Not to mention Michael Clarke Duncan didn’t disappoint as Wilson Fisk.

    • Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Mine is that Bullseye was the WORST part of that movie.

      • Next to the playground fight that is.

  13. im not dissing afleck I like his work but I would have loved to see jim caviezel as batman

    • He would be great as Batman.
      Also as Jack Reacher but that ships sailed.

      I think Ben Afleck will do a great job tho.

  14. Not an affleck fan,but I have no problem with him being cast as Batman. Reminds me of the same scenario when Michael Keaton got cast as bats and everybody acted as if the world was going to end. Now some of those same ones who wanted Keaton crucified say he’s the best actor to play Batman. Affleck will be fine. I on the other hand wished that they would have concentrated on this being a solo Superman sequel alone ,but it is what it is.

    Now WB about that wonder woman movie that has taken like 50,000 years to get made.

  15. ppl really need to get that effin Daredevil movie out of their minds! That was a long time ago, and Ben has succeeded over the years and has grown his acting skills, I believe in him, he will make an awesome Batman. All the fanboys/girls need to chill out, Christian bale did his job, and a new face is needed! I feel for ben as well, that all these losers are lashing at him, but those are the ones that will never grow, and if he fails then he fails! Then you can lash at him for sh*t work, but let him do the role first!

  16. Ah man, even if I like Batfleck, I’m starting to really wish Brolin got the part! urgh

  17. To be honest i would’ve loved to see brolin as bats but he would’ve had a tuff time pulling of bruce wayne in my eyes but he’d make an AWSOME brainiac.

  18. Just the other day I was able to convince the barista at Starbucks to give Batfleck a chance. Was I thrilled when I first heard the news? Nope, I was pretty crushed I wouldn’t get to see Armitage’s Batman (it would have been awesome!). But then, I went and watched Argo, The Town, and Gone Baby Gone. I am now (almost) completely sold on Ben Affleck’s potential to give us a dark, smart, nuanced Batman to stand next to Cavill’s Superman.

    • Huntress….

      + ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

    • Well said. Armitage and Urban were my pre-Affleck choices.
      That said, what I wanted for the DCCU more than almost anything, was for them to convince Affleck to take a seat… In a directors chair. Now, that may just happen.

    • He’s also good in State of Play.

  19. The images that are out their on what he might look like are pretty cool.

    • A lot of those are Arkham city or origins mock ups and it’s kinda astounding to me how much they could make him look like that. Unfortunately, the SDCC Bat logo does somewhat point in a different direction. I hope they use a cool muted version of the black and grey, because we’ve never seen that before on film. I’m just a little worried he might be too armoured, because of TDKReturns influences…

  20. Ah, Josh Brolin!

    So, we’ll never see his portrayal of Batman come to fruition….

    The master thespian who gave us Jonah Hex, Agent K and that guy in “Gangster Squad.”

    • He also gave us No Country for Old Men and True Grit. Despite few failures, he’s still a damn good actor.

      • You are absolutely correct. I was being mischievous.

        He was outstanding in “True Grit” and “No Country For Old Men.”

        I own those Blu Rays.

        (I even own Jonah Hex, but that was a gift and I kept it because of Megan Fox.)

        • I’ve been meaning to buy those blu rays too, truly amazing movies. Lmao I stayed away from Jonah Hex. Whenever a comic book movie has terrible reviews like that, I try my best to stay away, save my money and avoid being upset aha. Though, I admit, I definitely would’ve watched it if I got it as a gift. Only out of respect…and maybe because of Megan Fox lol.

      • I think his point may have been how haters only seem to point out Afflecks bad movies while conveniently ignoring the good ones.

  21. I don’t think they should have gone with an older Batman at all, it leaves the question where the F was Batman when Zod was trying to take over the world.

    • Gotham was probably getting destroyed lol, who knows. My guess is they’ll explain that with the sequel.

  22. He was probably looking into weaknesses for these aliens so that he could step in. He had no time because Superman took care of business. He will now have enough time to apply it to Superman in order to confront him.

    • I think it’d be interesting for the sequel if the world engines were placed where the fault lines were (is there one near the Indian Ocean?). I’m no geologist, haven’t even taken a class on it in almost 10 years lol but would the world engine cause the plates to collide into each other and end with massive earthquakes? I am taking a leap here and hoping I don’t sound like a complete id*ot lol. If so, I think it’d be an interesting way to have it affect places like the Amazonian Island, Gotham and other DC cities.

      • This wasn’t suppose to be a reply. Sorry.

      • I thought the same thing bro, only it was Aquaman I had in mind. The World Engine threatens Atlantis and spurs Aquaman into taking action. Realistically, they could play off the end of Man of Steel for several movies. Show it as the singular event that got the whole thing going.

        • Exactly my thought, I mean it is an alien invasion, I would think it’d affect everyone aha.

  23. I hope that Ben will pull it off well, but I would have loved to have seen Richard Armitage get a shot. Probably just because I liked The Hobbit so much though.

  24. I don’t understand why people hate Ben Affleck. I mean so what if he had a couple of bad roles? How long is he going to have to pay for “Gigli”? He has proven that he is a talented director and actor. I think he is going to be a great Batman and cannot wait to see his own spin on the role. Obviously the filmmakers saw something in him or they wouldn’t have picked him. They do kind of do this for a living and know how to do it better than random haters from the public.

    • Audrey, NO ONE hates Ben Affleck. Such a strong word.

      The reality is WE LOVE Ben Affleck.

      We LOVE him because he IS BATMAN !!

  25. Regular actor = regular movie. We will have a mentor to Superman instead of an equal, a partner. Different points of view but a partner nonetheless.

  26. Frankly, unlike so many others, apparently, I enjoyed Mr Affleck as Daredevil, maybe not because of the theatrical cut, which I barely remember, but because of the director’s cut! I think he’ll be a terrific Batman… and he has something that Bale has, IIRC, rarely shown in Nolan’s trilogy, a winning smile… matter of fact, I can for the life of me not remember Bale actually charm anyone, and that is also part of Bruce Wayne. Affleck, aside from having the acting chops to portray the Batman as thoughtful and brooding, can definitely pull off the Bruce Wayne side of the character as well, not only the brooding (dare I say sulking? in Bale’s case there was a lot of sulking) but also the playboy part.

    • Even without the Director’s Cut, I thought Ben was a good Daredevil.

      • I agree. There were many things wrong with Daredevil but Ben was NOT one of them. I actually liked BOTH versions of Daredevil, and I think Ben will do Very Well as Bruce Wayne/Batman. I Still wonder if Bruce will send Clark the Bill for that Satellite in MOS. :D

  27. I don’t like the selection of Affleck. It burned my arse when he said it was humiliating wearing a costume playing a super hero. Said he’d never do it again.
    I can believe him in a lot of parts, I won’t be able to believe him in this.

  28. His words were: “By playing a superhero in ‘Daredevil,’ I have inoculated myself from ever playing another superhero. Wearing a costume was a source of humiliation for me and something I wouldn’t want to do again soon.”

    I couldn’t believe him either.

    • Didn’t he say that ten years ago?

    • “something I wouldn’t want to do again soon’

      Not ruling out doing it later and it’s later.