It's not who Ben Affleck is underneath, but what he does that defines him…as Batman, at least.
On Thursday, Aug. 23, Warner Bros. announced the Oscar winner would be playing the iconic superhero in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. But before Batman Benny could so much as grab a cape, critics were throwing some serious shade at the Dark Knight and what his casting meant for the franchise.
From a Change.org petition with over 10,000 signatures to #BetterBatmanThanBenAffleck trending on Twitter for most of Friday, the majority of reactions have been not exactly positive. So, wait, Ben is the misunderstood outcast for the role already, and director Zach Snyder made the choice no one else could make—the right choice? Interesting. Sound a little like anyone else you know?
Thought so. But the backlash that's probably making Ben feel a bit like his Caped Crusader character isn't the only reason he's perfect for the role. Here are five reasons why Ben's the perfect choice to wear the Batsuit.
1. He's Already Saved the World: Yes, Armageddon totally counts. If it weren't for Ben—and yes, Bruce Willis—that asteroid totally would've hit the earth back in 1998. And what about Argo? Had it not been for Mr. Affleck, those American diplomats might still be in Iran.
2. He's Learned How to Improve His Superhero Game: Back in 2003, Ben starred as Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil, in the film of the same title. It was not his best-received work, and some people are trying to use it as an example why he's not the right fit for Batman.
"Well, I think we missed a lot in that movie…before they really kind of figured out how to do [superhero movies] right " he told MTV News in 2010. "Now they've become 'A' movies, and they've been embraced in a way that they weren't totally. Audiences have really have come out. And they demand a level of quality from them, as well they should, that is no less than the very best."
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3. He Will Learn From George Clooney: Ben's pal and fellow Argo producer played the superhero in 1997's Batman & Robin. It was—to put it nicely—not exactly a cinematic masterpiece. "It was a difficult film to be good in," Clooney told Total Film in 2011. "With hindsight it's easy to look back at this and go 'Woah, that was really s--t and I was really bad in it.'"
Fortunately, as Ben said, the superhero genre has really improved in the past decade—giving actors a lot more to work with. Plus, he can go straight to George for pro tips on what not to when he's saving Gotham City.
4. He's Already Gotten That Superhero Physique: One of the complaints about Ben as Batman as that he doesn't have that quintessential, broad-shouldered bulky build. Take a look at the 41-year-old in 2010's The Town. Mr. Affleck got so fit for his role as a Boston thief, his hunky costar Jon Hamm was even intimidated! "I just leave my shirt on when I'm around that guy," he told Access Hollywood. "He was in amazing shape and he worked very hard on it and I know it was a discipline."
And that discipline will kick right back in for Ben's latest role, too.
5. He's a Good Actor: Can you put on your Bennifer T-shirt and laugh at Gigli? Yes, if that's your thing. But whether or not you choose to admit it, Ben has proven himself as a talented actor time and time again in a multitude of roles. He's also a good actor in the sense that he's a professional, well-behaved adult. Not naming any names, but we probably won't be seeing any viral videos of Ben freaking out on set. Plus he's happily married to Jennifer Garner with three beautiful children, so he's not the kind of guy whose hard partying and crazy late nights will throw off production.