When Warner Bros. announced Ben Affleck would play Batman in the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio sent the internet into a frenzy. Fans were beside themselves, asking how Ben Affleck could possibly replace Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader, especially when Bale had left such an impressive mark on the franchise.
Well, it seems fans weren't the only ones asking. Bale himself recently admitted to Empire magazine that he too was stunned at the news.
"I've got to admit initially, even though I felt that it was the right time to stop, there was always a bit of me going, 'Oh go on... Let's do another,'" confessed Bale. "So when I heard there was someone else doing it, there was a moment where I just stopped and stared into nothing for half an hour."
Seriously? A half hour?
And does Bale's admission mean there was a chance he could have taken the role? Was he even asked?
While Christopher Nolan, who directed the Dark Knight trilogy, is producing Batman v Superman, there's no mistaking the distinctly different vibe that Zack Snyder and DC Comics are bringing to this film. In addition to Batman and Superman, the movie will feature Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), and an unconfirmed female Robin (supposedly played by Jena Malone).
It's possible — indeed, probable — that even if Bale hadn't declared himself done with the cape, Snyder would have still wanted to go with a new Batman just so he could add more distance between this new DC mash-up movie and the Dark Knight series.
Although fans, and Bale himself, have expressed disappointment that Bale won't be starring alongside Henry Cavill for what should be an action-packed romp through Gotham, the tide of public opinion does seem to be turning in Affleck's favor. A final verdict on who plays him better, however, will have to wait until the film drops in 2016.
Batman v Superman will be in theaters March 25, 2016.
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