It's been five years since Ben Affleck joined DC Films' shared universe (unofficially titled the DC Extended Universe) as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman - and we're now looking back at the craziest reactions to his casting. Affleck made his debut as the iconic DC superhero in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 and then he briefly reprised his role later that year in David Ayer's Suicide Squad, before making his latest appearance in 2017's Justice League.
While all three movies were critically panned, many people have praised Affleck's depiction of Batman (and Bruce Wayne, for that matter), while many other people have lamented it. At the moment, there's a lot of uncertainty regarding the actor's role in the ongoing shared universe as the Caped Crusader. Affleck still has one more DC movie on his contract, which may or may not be for Matt Reeves' The Batman movie. If it's not, then he could potentially appear in The Flash movie, but even that seems unlikely as the studio is reportedly moving away from the Flashpoint story arc.
Nevertheless, with one cameo and two main roles down, Affleck has had time to prove himself as the Dark Knight (based on the scripts he was given). While there are plenty of people who truly laud his portrayal of the character, it didn't start out that way back in 2013, when he was first cast as Batman in the follow-up movie to Snyder's Man of Steel.
General Outrage Over Ben Affleck as Batman
Needless to say, there were a variety of reactions to Ben Affleck's casting as Batman, many of which were just general outrage. Of course, people picked apart Affleck's acting career, his accent, his body, and more, the vast majority of social media users who opposed Warner Bros.' decision expressed anger, shock, and disbelief. And it wasn't just from the general public either, quite a few professional journalists got involved as well. Here's one example (Source: @JillPantozzi):
What's interesting - but not so surprising, all things considered - is that the official Twitter account for Comedy Central also chimed in on the news, saying that casting Affleck as Batman is something that only the Joker would come up with... but as a distraction. Take a look (Source: @ComedyCentral):
Since Warner Bros. ultimately cast Affleck in the role, quite a few people called out the studio for incompetence and recommended that they, perhaps, pick up a comic book every once in a while. At the time, they were still known as the studio that had just completed producing Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, which should've given them at least some clout in the matter. (Source: @BrianLynch, @ChaseMit)
There Were Plenty Of Ben Affleck Body Shamers
When it comes to playing a superhero like Batman, being able to physically embody the characters is just as important as getting the gravitas down. Affleck's towering height helped him in that regard, and there's no doubt he spent a lot of time training to not only play Batman but also look like Batman. That much can be seen on display in Batman V Superman. But long before the movie came out, one of the first things his detractors did when he was cast in the role was body-shame him. (Source: @IbrahimMuqsit, @GeorgeWarnock, @AnjunaMiami)
Some people specifically pointed out Affleck's chin as the reason he shouldn't play Batman, especially since that's one of the few facial features they would see while he's in the Batsuit. Interestingly, other people used the chin as a reason for why Affleck should play Batman. (Source: @OnlyOneLuff)
Ben Affleck's Filmography & Acting Skills Weren't Up to Par
Immediate reactions to Affleck's casting as Batman, of course, drew comparisons to his portrayal of Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. Over the years, several actors have managed to play multiple superheroes and/or roles in rival comic book movies. For instance, Chris Evans played both Johnny Storm and Captain America, and Ryan Reynolds played both Green Lantern and Deadpool. While some actors have been given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to superhero redemption, Affleck wasn't awarded the same courtesy by his vocal detractors. (Source: @benshapiro, @jarpad)
Even though Affleck had, by this point, starred in several acclaimed films as well as directed an Oscar-winning movie, he was still being judged on a relatively small timeframe from the early 2000s, particularly his involvement in Gigli - which is considered one of the worst movies ever made, not to mention one of the biggest box office bombs of all time. No matter how much time passes and how much Affleck tries to redeem himself, it appears that film may follow him around for the rest of his career. At least, it did come back to haunt him when he joined the DCEU.
Nobody Wanted a Batman With a Boston Accent
Bruce Wayne/Batman has been played by numerous actors over the years, each with different accents - but a Batman with a Boston accent was taking things a bit too far, apparently. And what's interesting about that is Affleck's accent isn't even prominent. Everyone's okay with Englishmen playing Batman (Christian Bale) and Superman (Henry Cavill), but someone from Boston playing Batman was an automatic no-go. (Source: @kissmycassidy)
To conclude things, a Change.org petition even launched, demanding WB remove Ben Affleck as Batman because his acting skills weren't "even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne," not to mention there was the idea that he wasn't "intimidating enough" for the role, to strike fear into the hearts of his enemies. Given Batman's not-so-subtle introduction in Batman V Superman, it's fair to say Affleck had that part down from the get-go. But, after all this time, the question remains, is Ben Affleck a good Bruce Wayne and a good Batman?
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