After news emerging the other week about Warner Bros having allegedly offered Christian Bale $50 million to reprise his role as Batman for the upcoming 'Man of Steel' sequel, we've now had confirmation that Ben Affleck will take over as the iconic hero.
Would Bale have worked?
This could have sat uneasily with fans for many reasons, not least because of the efforts DC have put in to creating a brand new universe in 'Man of Steel', so a new face would surely be the logical step to accompany Henry Cavill's character.
Not only that, but if you're partial to scratch beyond the surface of Nolan's 'Dark Knight trilogy' and into its subtext, it's quite possible that Bale's hero actually dies at the end of 'The Dark Knight Rises' rather than live happily ever after in the superficial scenario we see play out. This therefore draws a line under Bale's tenure. Personally, I'd be keen to see a new face don the cowl, as a number of names have been linked such as Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin.
Does Affleck need it more than Bale?
In short, Christian Bale wouldn't be worse off for snubbing the role. After all, he's one of the best actors working today, having taken past roles such as 'The Machinist' to the extremes with his method acting, it's hard to imagine he a) needs the money and will be easily swayed by a fat pay cheque, or b) actually has the desire to continue the role. In the past he's reiterated that three Batman films are enough and isn't the type of actor to be pigeon-holed (with Nolan's trilogy as the notable exception, mind).
Affleck, even on the back of his Oscar-winning 'Argo', is still in need of some acting credibility. Sure, he's been in some good films, but desperately seeks to gain the same respectability in front of the camera as he has behind of it.
Let's face it, it's not like Bale is desperate to do this; he'll have plenty of offers of different roles to increase his already diverse body of work (as I'm sure Affleck will), so it's really a case of personal choice and integrity that'll decide his fate on this one. Affleck, however, perhaps needs this challenge to prove the haters wrong.
Worn out Bats
Recent rumour was that an older Batman was on the radar to adhere more to the graphic novel 'The Dark Knight Returns', with a host of names in the mix: Matthew Goode, Max Martini, Richard Armitage and Joe Manganiello cropped up regularly. An older take on Bats would surely be a more interesting path to take the superhero down, and I for one would have been more on board with such an approach rather than to simply recast a younger, physically able actor to play Batman. Ben Affleck may not quite fit this older role, but at least it's a different approach to the character, as he is a more reserved persona with arguably a less demanding presence than Bale, so should be interesting.
Do you think Christian Bale should have reprised his role as Batman? How do you feel about Ben Affleck taking over?
Mike indulges in all genres, with a particular affinity for animation -- specifically Pixar. His favourite films include 'Toy Story', 'Lost In Translation', 'The Shining' and 'Jurassic Park'. For more thoughts on movies and other such frivolity, follow him on Twitter.