Your source for all things related to the Dark Knight


Two Comic Book Movie Castings More Controversial than Ben Affleck


As the world recently found out, Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman for the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. The internet decided to take a break from cat videos and reposting memes to unite in their unrest about the situation. It seems that Ben Affleck can be compared to Marmite, either you absolutely love it or the mere thought of it makes you turn green in rage. The internet has done what it is so good at and united over 70,000 people who have signed a petition calling for Ben Affleck to be dropped as the Dark Knight and showing that even in our modern world, people still can’t deal with change.


Remember when Facebook changed its layout for the first time and everyone threw their toys out of their cot? Remember after some time when Facebook changed their layout for a second time and everyone complained about wanting it to go back to the look that they complained about in the first place? That is pretty much what this debacle boils down to, people’s fear of something different. I am by no means an Affleck soldier, although I have enough faith in Man of Steel director, Zack Snyder, that the greatness of Batman will not be compromised. Throughout history there have been many casting announcements that left fans up in arms, but were later left pleasantly surprised. Here are two perfect examples, both from the Batman franchise.


Michael Keaton as Batman


Who is your favourite Batman? This is a debate that could go on for eternity, although for many, Michael Keaton is that man. People seem to forget that Keaton was also met with great negativity by the Dark Night diehards of his time. In fact, 50 000 protest letters flooded the Warner Bros. office (none of this easy online petitioning). Keaton was a comedy star, starring in films such as Night Shift and Beetlejuice. Although, when he threw on that cape and cowl, he didn’t step out of the Batmobile croaking, “Let's turn on the juice and see what shakes loose.” Instead he was transformed into one of the greatest Dark Knights of all time.


Heath Ledger as the Joker


Heath Ledger performed arguably one of the most memorable portrayals of any villain in any motion picture to date. He managed to become one with the psychological minefield that is the Joker. Although he too was initially met with great negativity once he was cast in the role. If this was a mobile casino, no one would have put any money on Ledger. How dare an actor renowned for his romantic roles attempt to fill the shoes of such a villain? People were quick to pull out the Brokeback Mountain references and even past Joker, Jack Nicholson, was against the casting of Ledger.


So before you are too quick to shun the idea of Affleck filling the large shoes that Christian Bale left behind, perhaps we should have a little faith and give those in charge the benefit of the doubt.


Posted by Jason Swindon

Liked it? Take a second to support The Batman Universe on Patreon!

  • Adam Rogers

    Ok, my problem with this arguement is as follows; both Michael Keaton and Heath Ledger both had less than a decade of work under their belt. they were relatively unknown. I wouldn't say they were big names yet, so it's wasn't really fair to judge them as they hadn't really had a chance to shine yet. Whereas Ben Affleck has been active for about 2 decades. We know what to expect from him. We've seen him in a multitude of films and he's been a household name for about a decade. Sure, he's been in some good films recently–and even did a pretty good job in them, but he's known for his bad films. Maybe I just didn't do enough research on Keaton and Ledger, but I'm pretty sure they weren't known for bad films or poor acting, so I'm not really seeing the connnection. Also, just look at Micheal Keaton. He's looks dark, but Ben Affleck looks nearly half his age and doesn't look nearly as ruggedly handsome as Keaton. Now take that arguement with a grain of salt as I'm a heterosexual male and I don't really know what females (or gay guys, I suppose) think of these two actors. Not to mention that Heath Ledger was covered in makeup and was practically unrecognizeable. I knew nothing about the actor when he was cast (other than a few things I'd heard like his role in Brokeback Mountain) I was totally on board with it when I saw the first procuction photos of him in the makeup.

    Now that being said, I'm probably one of the few people who on the fence about him. I've recently watched some of his films, even Daredevil (director's cut–which I thought was actually fairly decent and his portrayal of the character was actually one of the better things about the film, believe it or not). And while I can definitely say he's a very good actor (perhaps not great)–and that he was even in the same ballpark as Batman in Daredevil–he doesn't quite seem good enough. I can see him pulling it off, but not knocking it out of the park and that just doesn't quite do it for me. I don't want a mediocre/decent/okay Batman; I want an awesome Batman. Why? Because the character is awesome and deserves to be portrayed that way. I no longer hate this idea (as I did when I first heard it–well, when I first realized it wasn't a joke, that is o_O) and am now willing to see what he can do, but still would MUCH prefer an actor like Josh Brolin (who's known for playing kick-butt characters recently) or Jon Ham (who is known for his role as Don Draper who basically is Bruce Wayne–especially if it weren't just a persona) in the role.