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10 Mind-Blowing Ways Ben Affleck’s Batman Movie Would’ve Stunned Audiences, Contrasting The Batman!

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Robert Pattinson Batman VS Ben Affleck

Prior to 2022’s The Batman, a film headlined by Robert Pattinson and directed by Matt Reeves, there were plans in the DC Universe for a standalone Batman movie centered around Ben Affleck, who would have also directed it. However, Affleck’s vision for his portrayal of the Dark Knight would have diverged significantly from the fresh iteration that now exists in its own timeline and version of Gotham City. While The Batman has garnered immense acclaim for its dynamic approach to the iconic superhero, some may be curious about the direction Ben Affleck’s Batman would have taken, building upon his introduction in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Having committed to multiple appearances as the Dark Knight in the DCEU, Ben Affleck was initially slated to write, direct, and star in a standalone Batman film following his appearances in Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. However, a series of factors gradually led to Affleck stepping away from the responsibilities of writing and directing, ultimately leading to his departure from the role altogether. Consequently, Warner Bros. shifted gears and embraced Matt Reeves’ vision for The Batman, featuring a younger iteration of Bruce Wayne, ultimately recasting the role with Robert Pattinson, who would helm a distinct Batman universe. Nevertheless, various details about Affleck’s original project have been unveiled over time, shedding light on several significant divergences from the 2022 film.

The Batman and Ben Affleck’s Vision

snyder's justice league batman

First and foremost, it is important to note that 2022’s The Batman exists within its own distinct “Elseworlds” timeline and universe, separate from both the DCEU and the future DCU envisioned by James Gunn and Peter Safran, the new heads of DC Studios. The focus of this film revolves around a younger iteration of Batman, who is in his second year as Gotham’s Dark Knight. At this stage, Bruce Wayne is primarily operating on his own, honing his crusade and refining his crime-fighting methods. Additionally, it is unlikely that Matt Reeves’ Batman universe will incorporate other DC superheroes beyond those who are directly intertwined with the Batman mythos.

In contrast, Ben Affleck’s version of The Batman would have been situated in the aftermath of Justice League within the DCEU. The narrative would have continued Bruce Wayne’s journey following the formation of a team of heroes to vanquish Steppenwolf and confront future adversaries, such as the Injustice League, which was hinted at in the theatrical cut of Justice League, or formidable figures like Darkseid, as portrayed in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, released in 2021. Affleck’s envisioned film would have retained its connection to the broader DCEU.

Deathstroke vs. Multiple Rogues

DCEU Deathstroke Joe Manganiello

During the development of The Batman, Ben Affleck himself revealed that his primary focus was centered around the character of Slade Wilson, also known as Deathstroke, who is regarded as the DC Universe’s most formidable assassin. Joe Manganiello portrayed Deathstroke and made appearances in both versions of Justice League’s post-credits scenes. In Zack Snyder’s original rendition, Lex Luthor divulged Batman’s secret identity to Slade. Consequently, Deathstroke would have stood as the primary and predominantly solitary antagonist in Affleck’s original vision for The Batman.

In contrast, Matt Reeves’ The Batman encompasses a broader array of adversaries, including iconic villains such as The Riddler, The Penguin, and the crime boss Carmine Falcone. Reeves’ rendition presents a rich rogues’ gallery for Batman to contend with, offering a more diverse array of antagonists compared to Affleck’s initial concept.

Arkham Asylum Influence

arkham asylum gates

Ben Affleck drew inspiration from DC’s Arkham Asylum comics and video games for his version of The Batman. Consequently, his envisioned film would have incorporated significant psychological thriller elements, with the iconic Arkham Asylum serving as a prominent location. It is worth noting that Matt Reeves’ The Batman also includes a few scenes set in Arkham, showcasing a nod to this infamous institution. Furthermore, there are reports of an upcoming spin-off Arkham Asylum series that may draw inspiration from Affleck’s initial ideas, further expanding on the dark and gripping world of the asylum.

Casting and Multiverse Speculations

The batgirl ben afflecks batman

Speculations of Batgirl’s involvement in Ben Affleck’s The Batman had circulated, although no actress was officially linked to the role. It leads to the curiosity of whether Leslie Grace would have portrayed Ben Affleck’s Batgirl before the project’s cancellation. Additionally, Michael Keaton’s portrayal of Batman in The Flash film could potentially be attributed to alterations in the timeline caused by Barry Allen, aligning with the period when Keaton was rumored to replace Affleck as the DCEU’s Batman. These changes can be understood within the framework of the multiverse, which offers explanations for the shifts in casting and character arcs.

Contrasting Villain Motivations

ben affleck's batman and deathstroke

As per Joe Manganiello, Deathstroke’s motive to eliminate Batman would have been an intensely personal vendetta. The storyline would have unfolded with Slade Wilson blaming the Dark Knight for the tragic demise of his son, driving him to pursue merciless revenge. On the other hand, in 2022’s The Batman, the primary antagonist is Paul Dano’s Riddler, who holds a distinct perspective. Edward Nygma, aka the Riddler, actually admires Batman, viewing him as an ally in their shared quest to cleanse Gotham of its corruption. Despite their contrasting motivations, both villains offer equally compelling reasons for their actions, each carrying their own weight in the narrative.

DCEU’s Murder Mystery

Robin Suit

Furthermore, it has been officially confirmed that the murder of Robin in the DCEU would have been delved into. Presently, it is established that Jared Leto’s Joker was the perpetrator behind Robin’s demise, with Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn also playing a role in the event. Additionally, Zack Snyder has confirmed that the Robin who fell victim to the Joker’s violence was Dick Grayson, rather than the second Robin, Jason Todd, as depicted in the original DC Comics. However, with Matt Reeves’ The Batman existing in its own distinct timeline, centered around a younger iteration of the Dark Knight, there is no opportunity to explore the aftermath of Robin’s murder, as initially hinted in Batman v Superman.

New Batman Suits: Affleck’s Upgraded Armor vs. Pattinson’s Prototype

Ben Affleck Batman cowl concept art

Recently released concept art by artist Keith Christensen unveiled Ben Affleck’s Batman with an enhanced costume for his solo film. The design featured additional armor pieces layered onto the original suit seen in 2016’s Batman v Superman. In contrast, Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman in The Batman showcases a suit that is akin to a prototype version. The resources and gear utilized by Pattinson’s Batman reflect the early stages of his vigilante career, highlighting the formative years of the Dark Knight compared to the DCEU version, who had been Gotham’s protector for over two decades.

Swords and Martial Arts in Affleck’s The Batman

Batmans warehouse fight scene

Jay Olivia’s concept art confirmed that Deathstroke would have brandished his signature swords in Ben Affleck’s The Batman, hinting at the film’s emphasis on martial arts choreography. This suggests a focus on showcasing Bruce Wayne’s training and combat abilities, reminiscent of the iconic warehouse scene in Batman v Superman. While Robert Pattinson’s Batman showcased his ability to handle multiple adversaries in the opening sequences of The Batman, one can anticipate further development of his combat prowess as Matt Reeves’ trilogy progresses.

The Batman’s Isolated Narrative

snyder's justice league batman

While Matt Reeves did not provide specific details about which DC heroes would have appeared in Ben Affleck’s The Batman, he did mention that the version of the script he had read included a few cameos from the DCEU. This suggests that one or more members of the Justice League would have made appearances in Gotham as part of the initial plot. However, given The Batman’s distinct status as a standalone franchise separate from the rest of the DCU, Reeves’ trilogy is expected to maintain a grounded focus, centering on the heroes and villains within the boundaries of Gotham City. The story will likely remain contained within the intricate web of characters existing solely within the city limits.

Action-Driven vs. Gritty Character Focus

ben affleck batman like james bond

Matt Reeves further disclosed that Ben Affleck’s script for The Batman shared similarities with the James Bond franchise. The proposed concept involved a strong focus on action, featuring grand set pieces and thrilling sequences. While this approach held appeal for Affleck, Reeves himself felt less enthusiastic about it. In contrast, Reeves’ iteration of The Batman is characterized by a gritty and character-driven narrative, emphasizing the darker and more psychological aspects of the Caped Crusader’s journey.

Nevertheless, considering the metahuman-filled environment of the DCEU, it is logical to assume that Ben Affleck’s The Batman would have depicted the Dark Knight equipping himself with significant technological upgrades, reminiscent of the gadget-laden arsenal often associated with James Bond himself. These enhancements would have likely introduced a variety of cutting-edge gadgets and tools, aligning with the espionage-style action befitting a metahuman world.

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