Director Kevin Smith is a big fan of Batman. That’s really no secret. If you’ve ever seen him in interviews he’s as likely to be wearing a Batman t-shirt under his trademark coat as anything else. He also knows Ben Affleck. The director cast Affleck in several of his early films. For these reasons, Smith could be viewed as a strong judge of how Ben Affleck may handle the iconic role. If Smith is to be believed, we’re in for one hell of a movie as he’s calling Ben Affleck the "best Batman we’ve ever seen."
Kevin Smith says that his bible is Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and so by that metric Ben Affleck is already off to a great start as the character from Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice looks just like the one from the famous comic book. However, Smith tells Variety that the real reason that Ben Affleck is perfect as Batman is not because of how he looks in the suit, but rather how he performs when he’s not wearing it.
The hardest thing to nail about Batman is Bruce Wayne, because that’s where you’ve got no mask and you’ve got to be a human being. But that dude is Bruce Wayne, so he’s born to play that role.
It’s an often heard refrain from fans when a new actor is cast in the role of Batman. He’s judged on his perceived ability to play Bruce Wayne and to play Batman, as separate characters. Batman is often viewed as the more difficult character to pull off, but Kevin Smith has the opposite opinion. Playing larger than life can be easier than playing a real person. Smith says that Ben Affleck’s Batman moves and fights like the version in Frank Miller’s graphic novel, which is really the only way you can compare the characters. Even so, you’re comparing still images to moving ones, so it can be difficult to really judge how well you’re interpreting things. But Bruce Wayne is a man. We can judge that for accuracy much more easily, but according to Smith, that’s where Affleck will really shine in the role.
Kevin Smith says that he very nearly called Ben Affleck to tell him not to take the Batman role. After Affleck took the role of Daredevil he apparently told Smith that he never wanted to play a costumed part again. Smith says he almost reminded the actor of that vow when the news of him playing Batman broke, but he’s apparently glad that he didn’t do that now.
The rest of us will have our opportunity to judge Ben Affleck’s Batman when Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice arrives on March 25. From what you’ve seen so far do you think Kevin Smith is right to call him the best Batman?