With Henry Cavill returning as mild-mannered Clark Kent in Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan’s upcoming “Batman vs. Superman”, due out in 2015, it only made sense that the producers wouldn’t want to recast such a critical role to the DC universe as Bale’s Bruce Wayne. After the three-time Batman actor stated publicly that he would not return to don the cape, he went on to reject the producers’ offers, eventually turning down their highest offer of no less than $60M. Bale probably just has some smaller fish to fry (there’s nothing bigger than Batman right now, we checked). We get that. But for Warner Brothers to replace him with Ben Affleck? Fans aren’t pleased, but if you really think about it, it could work. After all, Ben Affleck does have experience playing superheroes that wear a mask over half of their face in movies that didn’t suck… oh wait.
Here are several other Affleck-less directions the franchise could have taken that would have left most of us overly grateful for the Affleck casting decision. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Yes, it could have been worse. A lot worse:
7. Jake Gyllenhaal
If Christian Bale had turned down the role in the 2005 Nolan reboot, Jake was said to be a lock for #2 choice. This raises some tough questions. For example, if he had played Bruce Wayne in “Batman Begins”, would his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal have still replaced Rachel Dawes, Bruce Wayne’s love interest, when Katie Holmes dropped out of the sequel? Weird. Even weirder is the fact that Jake was also considered for the role of Harvey Dent in “The Dark Knight”, also in love with Rachel Dawes, who again, was played by his sister. Weirdest yet, he’d have come full circle with Heath Ledger, who played the infamous Joker in “The Dark Knight” and Jake’s lover, Ennis Del Mar, in “Brokeback Mountain”.
Sorry Jake, but as close as you came to entering the Batman franchise, the forces of the universe don’t seem to have it in the cards for you.
6. Tom Cruise
While Tom Cruise was never officially considered for the role of Batman, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to see the former Katie Holmes beau as an older Bruce Wayne, especially now that she’s no longer involved in the series. He has the look, the on-screen charisma, and he’s never played a superhero. He came incredibly close in 2007, however, with Marvel’s “Iron Man”. Not only was he slated to play Tony Stark (who, let’s face it, is basically Marvel’s billionaire superhero equivalent to DC’s Batman), but he was also in line to co-produce the movie. Cruise eventually dropped out after schedule conflicts and delays due to issues Cruise had with the original script. Would Tom Cruise have been a more popular Batman than Ben Affleck? Would he be too short for the role (as opposed to Affleck being too tall)? Regardless, with a $60 million dollar budget for the role, the producers certainly could have shown Tom the money.
5. Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds was the brunt of an Internet April Fools’ joke earlier this year in which a number of legitimate entertainment news websites released detailed articles announcing him as the new Batman following The Dark Knight Rises. While this implies that he was most likely never being seriously considered, it also doesn’t rule it out. If it weren’t for the fact that he’s already played Green Lantern AND Deadpool at this point, he might have actually made an interesting choice for Batman. His frame and facial features are similar to those of Christian Bale (not that that entirely matters) and he’s just a few years younger than Bale. While he’s done his fair share of romantic comedies, at least none of them were “Gigli”.
4. Cillian Murphy
When “Batman Begins” was casting, Cillian Murphy was at a point in his career where he was extra cautious being type-cast. While known for his deliciously sinister villain portrayals, he actually prefers to play the good guys, and originally auditioned for the role of Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins. Nolan turned him down for the role, but was reportedly so impressed with Murphy’s audition that he eventually was able to convince him into playing Scarecrow instead. Obviously, his existing role in Nolan’s Batman universe rules him out this time around.