Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Aug. 23, 2013 | 4:39 p.m.
batmanactors Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Many fans are unhappy with Ben Affleck's casting as Batman in Zack Snyder's upcoming "Man of Steel" sequel. Whom would you have cast in Ben Affleck's place? Click through the gallery for eight possible Bruce Waynes. (From left: Los Angeles Times; Getty Images; Los Angeles Times)

christianbale Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Christian Bale: Fans were clamoring for Bale to reprise his role in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. But the Oscar-winning actor has said publicly he's done with the role. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

joshbrolin Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Josh Brolin: The actor widely tipped to play Batman before the role went to Affleck, the Oscar nominee would have been a natural choice for a world-weary vigilante with a glowering dark streak. His next film is Spike Lee's “Oldboy” remake. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

idriselba11 Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Idris Elba: The man already declared the apocalypse canceled in “Pacific Rim” and served as the sentry for the magical world of Asgard in “Thor.” He easily has the sort of bad-ass gravitas required for Batman. (Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty Images)

michaelfassbender Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Michael Fassbender: Impeccable genre credentials aside (“X-Men: First Class,” “Prometheus”), the actor has the right kind of old-world sophisticated charm to play Bruce Wayne and enough physical power to believably wear the vigilante cowl. It’s a mix reminiscent of what Christian Bale brought to the role. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

josephgordonlevitt1 Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Considering the events of "The Dark Knight Rises," Joseph Gordon-Levitt would have been a natural choice to take on the title of Batman and continue the work of Christian Bale's Bruce Wayne. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

ryangosling1 Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Ryan Gosling: Bruce Wayne is a dashing loner who can wear a suit better than anyone else in the room, and his alter ego can fiercely bloody almost any opponent. In Gosling’s latest, “Only God Forgives,” he plays a dashing loner who can wear a suit better than anyone else in the room, and he can take a serious beating. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

jakegyllenhaal Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Jake Gyllenhaal: The Oscar nominee has played a wounded loner, a morally conflicted cop and a video-game hero with a terrible haircut (OK, “Prince of Persia” might not be his finest hour). But Gyllenhaal’s dynamic character work in a host of films – from “Brokeback Mountain” to “Zodiac” and beyond – suggests he’d be capable of navigating the twin personalities of Bruce Wayne and Batman. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

johnhamm Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

Jon Hamm: The "Mad Men" actor has earned six Emmy nominations for his portrayal of Don Draper, a brilliant, troubled man projecting an outward exterior of tough macho cool. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Disappointed in Ben Affleck’s casting as Batman? You’re not alone.

Despite Affleck’s big-screen cred, news that the Oscar winner will don the Bat-cowl for Zack Snyder’s upcoming “Man of Steel” sequel has sparked the ire of many fans, who took to Facebook to voice their disapproval. A petition posted on calling for Affleck’s removal from the film has already garnered more than 10,000 signatures.

And on Twitter, Batman fans suggested alternate casting decisions, using the hashtag #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck.

Though it’s unlikely that Snyder and executive producer Christopher Nolan will take note, it’s still fun to ponder who might have been more suitable to play the Dark Knight opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman.

Hero Complex has narrowed down your Twitter suggestions to an elite eight. Check out the nominees in the gallery above, and cast your vote in the poll below.

— Gina McIntyre and Noelene Clark | @LATherocomplex


Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne in "The Dark Knight Rises." (Ron Phillips / DC Comics / Warner Bros.)Ben Affleck will play Batman in ‘Man of Steel’ sequel, due July 17, 2015

Ben Affleck’s Batman casting sparks backlash

Batman: The roles that led Ben Affleck to Batman

‘Superman/Batman’: Who should play the Dark Knight?

Superman and Batman will unite on film

Comic-Con 2013 top 10 moments

Superman at 75: 10 key comic covers

‘Man of Steel’: 50 images from Snyder’s film

Henry Cavill knows how Clark Kent feels


43 Responses to Batman and Ben Affleck: Whom would you rather see in cape and cowl?

  1. catwinc says:

    You forgot Richard Armitage.

    • Nigel Challinor says:

      For goodness sake who makes everyone such Batman experts. I remember everyone complaining when Michael Keaton was cast and he turned out to be a fantastic Batman/Bruce Wayne. Whoever donned the cape and cowl some people would moan they were not right. Give Ben Affleck a chance.

  2. Alan Morrison says:

    A memory comes to mind of Bob Dylan making headlines when he announced he was going electric. The uproar and outrage from the public has the same eerie flavour to it now that Ben has accepted the role of Batman. After all folks, Mr, Affleck is an actor and Batman`s a fictional character from the pages of a comic book. It strikes me as ultra strange that we the public want to control what artists can and cannot do in the pursuit of their craft by voicing our displeasure …before… Mr. Affleck has a chance to add his particular genius to this quirky role. I wish him all the best and look forward with anticipation to his interpretation of this iconic role.

    • David says:

      Fair enough. However, this isn't just art, this is commercial art. You're producing this specifically for consumer purchase. Do not be upset when the consumer says they prefer "metallic red paint" as opposed to "flat gray paint" on their new Mustang, and definitely don't whine when the consumer refuses to purchase the gray mustang, even if you think it's the best new color.

      As a consumer, every argument for Ben Affleck is fail. Batman doesn't need a name attached – I think even non-comics fans know who Batman is.

      The real reason is that WB needs to woo Ben Affleck by giving him a juicy role. The success of the film is of no concern … wooing Mr. Affleck's ego and business is. With the split between WB and Legendary, they need to keep Mr. Affleck. However, I do not need to see Mr. Affleck.

      Shifting this movie to the "$3.99 rental bin" category and moving on with my life.

      • Alan Morrison says:

        Fair enough also David. And yes this isn`t just art, its also commercial art. That age old saying," any publicity is good publicity" certainly applies to Mr. Affleck taking this role and the repercussions attached to it. And I would think ego is an essential ingredient for anyone, be it an actor, an athlete, a fighter pilot, a movie director or any number of prominent roles in society. Its essential to have ego if your going to succeed. It doesn`t mean you have to be an a$$hole about it.
        Now as a consumer, I really look forward to seeing what Ben can do with this role. You and it seems from what people are writing here, have prejudged and sentenced Mr. Affleck to utter contemptible failure. It seems to me, not one of you who object to Ben in this role, can recall the time you knew for sure this actor { any actor } was completely wrong for the role……..and you all ate humble pie.
        Your shifting this movie to the rental bin are you? Fine. But for me….. common sense tells me not to make-up my mind BEFORE the movie comes out and we give Ben the fair chance he deserves. Just sayin……..

  3. Dude7777 says:

    I'd prefer to see BETTY WHITE play Batman, over Ben Affleck.

  4. Auchlend says:

    I thought he was Daredevil?

  5. SeriousGeek says:

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt should be batman. I feel that he would make a fantastic batman. Ben Affleck is strictly marvel not dc. Another thing batman is a detective not a super hero. Any of those men would be much better than Affleck

  6. SeriousGeek says:

    In addition, I would love to see Christian Bale as the dark knight but he has already announced that he is done being batman and I respect that.

  7. Mr affleck is a good actor…… But he is NO BATMAN… Anybody other than Christian Bale can forget it… We make the decisions on what’s good and what isn’t… How do you END with RISES!!!! And then lead with this crap… Batman went and got all corney after Michael Keaton and didn’t find its way again until Christian… It’s sad to see the hardest DC comic get trashed… Shame on them for thinking we don’t matter enough to be considered.. You want to kill Batman? The. Don’t make anymore films… We’ll all sleep better knowing he was done a great justice.. Don’t do it.. Please

    • John W. says:

      Try opening your mind. You're like the people who said Sean Connery is the only person who should ever play Bond. Or Chris Reeves, with Superman. Ridiculous. Affleck was certainly not in my Top 100 picks for a new Batman, but I entirely welcome new blood.

      • Claus Talon says:

        Just call us ridiculous then. There has not been a better Bond than Connery-nor a better Superman than Reeve. Bale was the best at his role mainly due to the way they approached the character storywise-but these selections being thrown out there are so much more ridiculous than what Powertrip2043 suggests. SURE they needed an updated Superman-But to ME, they got it wrong on so many levels it wasn't funny. The ONLY thing I found likable about "The Man of Steel" was the color and texturing of the costume. EVERYTHING else was IMO a trainwreck, starting with the casting of Cavill, whats-her-face and Fishburne! I think DC films are headed for the tank because of this.

    • charlie says:

      christian bale sucked as bad as val kilmer… the villains saved that trilogy

  8. Casca says:

    Producers should not be casting for Batman, they should be casting for Bruce Wayne. Keaton and Kilmer shows that anyone in the right Batman suit with attitude can be Batman, it's when the mask is off the challenge is to be Bruce Wayne. Also, while I like Clooney's Bruce Wayne, his Batman suit was wrong … rubber nipples do not make the Batman scary, but laughable.

    • Claus Talon says:

      While I agree with you about them casting for the Wayne persona, I cannot say the same about anyone in the right suit can be Batman. Keaton's first film's success was due largely Nicholson carrying it. There was only ONE occasion in the movie where he was a convincing vigilante-that being his initial encounter on the rooftop with the two bandits. When he is pulling the one guy back towards him after snaring his leg with the batarang, there is a close-up of his face, where he truly LOOKS like a dark avenging agent. Other than that, he was not an imposing figure, But still the best UNTIL Bale came along-and most of his success is probably due to Nolan's take on the mythology. The producers should be looking for the physical speciman or someone with that potential and groom them for the part. Know any good caucasion actors that are 6'2" tall weighing 225lbs with black hair and blue eyes and have a Van Damme physique? THAT'S the one!

  9. captaink says:

    Affleck has strung together 2 good performances with Argo and The Town. This shift into Batman is not a good role for him. Gordon Levitt, Brolin or Elba in that order.

    • Claus Talon says:

      I cannot fathom why ANYONE would even consider Gordon Levitt, Brolin or Elba for this role. I'm not for Affleck being cast i n this role, but none of the other choices are better. Levitt!?!?? Come ON SHELLY!

  10. Dennis says:

    Michael Keaton Duhhh

  11. Michael says:

    None of the above. Karl Urban…I'm not the first to say this. Watch Judge Dredd.

  12. Brian says:

    I urge fans to boycott this film, as long as Ben Affleck is in it. I am not spending ONE PENNY on it!!!!! This will be Nolan and Snyder’s biggest flop, because they have upset fans.

    • John W. says:

      Get over yourself about calling for a ban of something you haven't even seen. It's just another fantasy movie, not important congressional legislation that will literally affect lives.

  13. Stacey Sayward says:

    I think Affleck is fine (the cleft chin alone), but I think he's be a perfect JAMES BOND.

    Let’s get creative for Batman or Superman:
    Josh Brolin, Jensen Ackles, Chris Evans, Channing Tatum, Jesse Bradford, Josh Duhamel, James Roday, Ryan Kwanten, Christopher Masterson…

    • Claus Talon says:

      IF Ackles could put some muscle ass on his frame and dye his hair, I'd be inclined to agree. He's got the correct face structure and look.

  14. steve says:

    idris elba??? amazing actor but he is black. bruce wayne/batman isnt black. i think Gerard Butler, Jon Hamm or Josh Brolin could play an older bruce wayne.

    • kahuna says:

      They are being PC by putting Idris Elba on the list. I'm surprised that they didn't also list a female– maybe Sandra Bullock!?!

    • Claus Talon says:

      I agree with you about Elba. Very good actor, but the reality is, BatBruce is caucasion-Not African-American,nor Hispanic, Asian nor anything else you might want to throw out there. I'm for inclusion-to a point. As much as I enjoy Samuel L. Jackson on screen, I would never have considered him as Nick Fury, when there are more true-to-the-book looking actors out there, like Michael Bein or Adrian Pasdar.

    • seJ says:

      I voted for Brolin. He definitely looks Batmanish enough, and the Goonies was/is a super flick. Secondly I would go with Fassbender, then thirdly Gosling.

  15. Cal says:

    Bale!? Did anyone try to watch the last one? It was horrendous. Batman did nothing.

  16. John W. says:

    This poll is ruined with the inclusion of Christian Bale. He's done with Batman, and his inclusion here entirely taints the results.

  17. Mayer says:

    I have seen Ben Affleck play very serious and believable roles. With the mask on he can call on other personality traits. When Bruce Wayne he can be a sophisticated, wealthy man who no one would suspect that he is the Masked Batman. I believe he is a fine choice. Remember the times we were unhappy about changing stars in other movies, ie., James Bond, Dumbledorf in Harry Potter….when they are great actors it works.

  18. afrocut says:

    my petition against the no ben Affleck petition. why? why not. lets be children too

  19. Bill says:

    granted Ben Affleck is a good actor but Batman he is not! Gylenhall or Goseling those are the two I would pick its in the eyes people you have to have a little psycho in you to play Batman or Bruce Wayne, and Affleck doesn't have the Psycho in him.

  20. Ant says:

    Dominic Purcell.. seriously, he's a bit short, but could play a strong quiet philanthropist easily, has the deductive genius stuff down in John Doe, doesn't look like a gimp in a smart suit, has the frame to wear a sleeker bat costume (that doesn't look like armor) has an awesome gravelly voice which is very appropriate for differentiating between Bruce and Batman, much closer to Kevin Conroys voice and nowhere near as forced as Bales vocal stylings, and he can assert a very intimidating persona in action situations – he's likable as a good guy but has plenty of experience playing darker characters… Could do with growing his hair back out though…

  21. Meanhedgehog says:

    Seriously no Karl Urban?

  22. Claus Talon says:

    As I go down the list, I can see NO ONE (Other than Bale) who'd I think would fit the role better- and I a totally against Affleck as the character, BUT he's got the CLOSEST look(physically) to Batman. One of the main problems I have with his being cast(other than his ability to play the role correctly) is that i believe he'd be TALLER than WhatzHisFace playing the Kryptonian! Not supposed to be that way folks. Superman is supposed to have a good two inches on Bats-PERIOD. No getting around it. Of couse there's ALWAYS those that don't care for physical accuracy-I'm just not one of them. IF they'sd have cast Victor Webster as Kal-El, there wouldn't have been a problem. Pardon my rant, but I just HAD to get that off of my chest.

  23. Bubba Jones says:

    ERIC DANE. My first pick all of the way.

  24. Marlowe says:

    Karl Urban or Misha Collins would be my top choices. Christian Bale was a fine Bruce Wayne, but his Batman IMO was terrible. I've felt the Nolan trilogy was great until Bruce donned the cape and cowl. So pretty much the first hour of Batman Begins tand any scene Ledger was in of course.

  25. pstewartr says:

    Wentworth Miller, would play a far better batman!!!

  26. pstewart says:

    wentworth miller' a much better Choice

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