While it was released months ago, we still haven't stopped discussing and dissecting Justice League. Zack Snyder's team up film had some majorly high stakes for the DCEU, as it was tasked with a ton of world building and character introductions, with an extremely short runtime. What resulted was a bit of a frankenstein film, which still showed improvement over Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. One of the biggest improvements was the lighter tone, including the characterization of Ben Affleck's Batman. While his first film was full of hatred and a shocking amount of murders, Justice League's Batman was a team leader who even cracked the occasional joke or two. Affleck recently spoke to this change in his character, saying:
I like this version of Batman a lot. It was a lot to carry around the danger of being angry and resentful of Superman the whole time, which led to a darker tone. And with this one, Batman is not a Joker and is not as funny, but is hilarious, as the straight man to Flash and other people. That's a nice dynamic to get to play off of somebody and have a little bit more irony and have a little bit more self-awareness, a little bit more fun with the movie. That was great.
Ben Affleck's comments to Daily Sabah shows how happy he was with the changes to Batman, which may be a good sign for his future within the DC Extended Universe. While Affleck was eventually set to direct and star in the Batman solo movie, he ended up dropping out of the director position. Since then, there has been massive speculation as how long he'll actually be playing the Dark Knight, with CinemaBlend and other publications listing the possible replacements and exit strategies for Bruce Wayne. Affleck has since been confirmed for a role in Flashpoint, just adding to the confusion of the fandom.
But for now we can enjoy a Batman who is just a little bit closer to the comics than some of his previous appearances. Batfleck isn't a perfect adaptation, but there's still plenty to celebrate about the latest silver screen version of the character. The action sequences in particular are thrilling, feeling similar to gameplay from the Arkham series. And a Batman who has had a long and exhausting history as a vigilante gives a new perspective on the character from what we saw in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
It should be interesting to see how Ben Affleck's version of Batman changes in future appearances. Free of the guilt revolving around Superman's death, we should see a pragmatic leader of the Justice League who depends on the other heroes. Hopefully we'll also be privy to the plans that he typically formulates to take down his allies, should they be compromised.