‘Batman’ has been an enormously popular figure in comic books, television and movies. The first TV Batman, Adam West, is still highly-admired today. Now the very newest Batman, Ben Affleck, has the daunting challenge of bringing a familiar character back to life in a brand-new movie franchise. Many fans have expressed distaste at this casting decision, but Affleck won’t wind up being the worst to take on the role.
Affleck will become Batman in a new film directed by Zac Snyder, the same man who helped bring “Man of Steel” to the big screen. The new Batman will live in the same universe with Henry Cavill’s Superman, and the two will interact in the upcoming film.
It’s the beginning of the Justice League on film, and fans are anxious to see what the movie has to offer. Many have had doubts about Affleck’s ability to play Batman, but he says the character is different from the one created by Christian Bale. Batman is older than Superman in this film, experienced and perhaps somewhat jaded by life. Affleck’s age makes him suited to that sort of role. It won’t be the first time the Caped Crusader has been played on screen by a somewhat older actor.
Michael Keaton was 37 when he took on the role in 1989, just four years younger than Affleck is today. Keaton made two “Batman” films with director Tim Burton before the first film franchise spun a little out of control.
Keaton really just set the bar too high. After his phenomenal turn as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Val Kilmer was tapped for the role. It was a huge mistake, as many fans will tell you. Kilmer was believable as neither Bruce Wayne nor Batman, though the costuming on “Batman Forever” was pretty good. The next film, “Batman & Robin,” starred George Clooney in the main title role. The film was filled with corny jokes, over-the-top set design and really, really bad acting.
After Val Kilmer’s highly dubious turn in black rubber and Clooney’s oddly wise-cracking Dark Knight, Christian Bale’s troubled interpretation of Batman has won many fans back to the comic book hero’s side. The “Dark Knight” trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan, became wildly successful despite Bale’s penchant for using a strange voice to read his lines.
Between Bale’s growling, Clooney’s awful joke-telling and Kilmer’s totally uncomfortable expression, Batman has really been through a lot over the years. Ben Affleck, a seasoned veteran of the big screen, isn’t likely to do anything worse than all this — whether or not all the fans are completely happy with his casting.