Zack Snyder has always stood behind the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in his version of the DCEU. Affleck initially suited up as the superhero in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and went on to reprise the role several times. But what if Affleck had passed on the role? Snyder has revealed the actor that was seemingly next in line to play Batman.
As of late, Zack Snyder has been making the rounds to promote the release of his new movie Army of the Dead, which is now streaming on Netflix. During a recent conversation, the filmmaker explained that he had been speaking with actor Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone, The Drop) about possibly putting on the cape and cowl had Ben Affleck not worked out. Here's what Snyder had to say about it.
"Matthias Schoenaerts... I was talking to him a lot about it. He never got in the suit, but I did do a bunch of mock-ups of him, because Ben was on the fence. And I don't blame him. Everyone should be on the fence when you're asked, 'Do you want to play Batman?'"
Indeed, as both Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck have discussed in the past, the actor had reservations about taking on the role. And for good reason. For one, it's a huge, multi-movie commitment. It also requires getting into excellent physical shape. Especially if a mere human is expected to fight Superman. Plus, as Affleck learned the hard way, the internet can be a cruel place. People initially lost their minds when the casting was announced and not in a good way. Though Affleck now has a passionate contingent of defenders in his camp several years removed from BvS.
As for Matthias Schoenaerts, it would have made for a remarkably different version of Batman. And likely a very different movie than what we got in Batman v. Superman. Schoenaerts, for one, is not nearly as much of a household name, and was certainly not as well known at that time. Audiences may have brought less baggage to it for that reason. The actor has appeared on projects more recently that American audiences would recognize, such as The Danish Girl and The Old Guard.
But none of that really matters now. Ben Affleck did say yes. He fought Henry Cavill in BvS. He returned briefly in Suicide Squad. He helped put the team together in Zack Snyder's Justice League. Affleck wrote a version of The Batman that would have seen him squaring off against Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke that we'll never get to see. Instead, it is Robert Pattinson who will play an entirely new version of the character in director Matt Reeves' The Batman. But we haven't seen the last of Batfleck, as he is returning to the role once again in The Flash, which is currently filming. You can check out the full interview with Zack Snyder on the latest episode of the Happy Sad Confused Podcast.