What's Next For Batman If Affleck Leaves DC Films?

Ben Affleck as Batman Warner Bros.

I didn’t hate the characterization of Batman in the Snyderverse, but the deviations from more traditional depictions of the character are premature. A Batman that is so destitute thanks to several decades of crime fighting in Gotham and the death of his ward, he abandons his faculties and ethics so profoundly that he occasionally murders goons and regularly beats them to a pulp, is compelling. It’s a bold take on the iconic character that DC films hadn’t earned yet. Ben Affleck’s turn as the Caped Crusader has made an appearance in three films now and if the rumors are to be believed, the actor will step down in the very near future. It seems like the right decision from where I sit. The question is, with a fresh start, how should DC present the character this time around?

Well, working under the assumption that Jake Gyllenhaal gets the gig, we can also assume they’re going to lean decidedly less on the grizzled, salt and pepper, Dark Knight Returns angle that we’ve received hitherto. That book is so powerful because it flips an already established Batman on its head. Warner Bros. might have already forfeited this opportunity, but to watch Bruce slowly transmorph into the cantankerous vigilante from Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novel gradually over the course of several films,  could make for a nice crescendo to the entire franchise. In any case, the Batman of this movieverse should NOT be moody. Stoic, sure. Calculating, brooding, we’re talking about Batman here. But on balance, I’d like to see a Bruce Wayne that has gotten really good at sheathing his torment.  More James Bond than Byronic. Less stocky as well. Affleck did a fine job for the most part, but he looked absolutely ridiculous in the costume, not that it was a great design to begin with. Batman is a martial artist, not a knuckle brawler from the ‘40s.

Affleck’s Batman lacked any sense of identity in a team setting. There was the vague hint that Diana and Bruce would knock ponies at some point, but outside of that, he was either bitter and contrarian or shitting out awful one-liners. There’s a lot of places you can go with this—the Superman foil is fairly obvious, but when it’s done well in the comics, it's goddamn hypnotic. In light of Henry Cavill’s more gregarious approach in Justice League , a Batman that retains his wit but is simultaneously focused and sardonic could be nice. I don’t think the Diana pairing is necessarily a bad thing, but i think it should be played less sweetly—it should be a pretty casual thing for both parties. Batman is a billionaire playboy and Wonder Woman is like 1000 years old. You think she still gets sheepish about boning? Please. Have him mentor the juvenile members like Flash and Cyborg and get into dick swigging contests with the one’s nearer his age.

Oh, and for fucks sake, nix that god awful costume.


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