Ben Affleck as The Batman

Following in Christian Bale's footsteps
Ben Affleck is 43 this year and officially the oldest actor to become the Dark Knight. And no, George Clooney was only in his mid-30’s when Batman & Robin (1997) came out. Yes, you are old. A casting decision that was controversial on announcement, it’s since made sense in light of the story Batman v Superman tells.

Affleck’s Batman is at a later stage in his life. Jeremy Irons as long-time butler Alfred describes this new Batman in the most perfect dig: “Even you’ve got too old to die young”. The title of the movie is Batman V Superman, and it’s important that we find Bats at a time in his life where his idealism has waned. Superman (Henry Cavill) is not a symbol of hope; he’s a threat to humanity. Fight choreography and the gadgets Batman chooses to take into battle reflect this new mindset. Once, Batman made it a point that he himself would never become a killer. Now, his definition of “acceptable collateral” grows broader daily.

There were also concerns among comic book die-hards that ‘Batfleck’ wouldn’t work. To anyone still pondering we say this: 

1) It’s worth remembering that outside of vigilante justice, Bruce Wayne is still a wealthy golden child, one of Gotham’s social elite. Affleck’s boyish good looks are completely on point for the task here. 
2) Looks don’t matter when Bruce Wayne puts on the suit.

The new Bat suit was an opportunity for costume designers to characterise Batman. Noticeably chunkier than Christian Bale’s getup, it’s covered in incidental damage that gleams in the lighting on set. An expensive look, but not lavish or extreme. This suit gets worn.

Despite taking some heat as the new Batman, Affleck remained cool in his approach. The actor revealed at Comic Con that he was feeling the pressure, but director Zack Snyder was quick to assure him he was the right man: “I think if I thought too hard about the actors who played this part before, I couldn’t have taken the job...I talked to Zack about it, I was like ‘are you sure?’ you know, and he said, ‘I have this vision, I have this idea for the guy, and you’re perfect for it’”.

And with appearances in a handful of the other slated DC blockbusters over the coming years, we are relishing seeing more Batfleck on the screen.


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