Is Ben Affleck The Oldest Actor to Play A Live-Action Batman

In 2013, the internet went crazy after news broke that Ben Affleck was cast as Batman. Some fans couldn’t look past Affleck’s last superhero role in Daredevil, some fans simply didn’t like him over their preferred choice. Affleck’s age was also an interesting element in the casting. Zack Snyder wanted a much older, experienced Batman to go up against Henry Cavill’s Superman.

But despite Affleck being an older Batman, was he really the oldest actor to portray the comic book hero in live action? And what other personal factors might’ve led to some fans vehemently hating Affleck’s casting as the caped crusader?

How old was Ben Affleck when he played Batman?

Ben Affleck posing in a suit.
Ben Affleck | Arturo Holmes/Getty Images

According to IMDb, Ben Affleck was born on August 15, 1972. The Los Angeles Times reports that production for the film Batman V Superman began in 2014, and Collider revealed that filming stopped in December of that same year. Affleck was 42 at the time. Christian Bale in The Dark Knight Rises, who also played an older, wary Batman, was 37 years old when his movie started filming in 2011.

Meanwhile, George Clooney, Adam West, and Val Kilmer were also in their mid to late 30s while portraying their take on Batman.

Affleck was the oldest actor to portray Batman at one point. Fairly recently, however, Kevin Conroy surpassed Affleck. The prolific voice actor tweeted in October 2019 that he was filming in Vancouver for The CW’s Crisis of Infinite Earths, where he played a parallel version of Batman.

With his birthday being November 30, 1955 according to IMDb, that would’ve made him 63-64 years old when he inherited Batman’s mantle.

Christian Bale still remains the youngest Batman actor, as he was 30 when he shot Batman Begins, which started filming in 2004 according to the Chicago Tribune.

When The Flash arrives in Theaters in 2022, Keaton will officially be crowned the oldest actor to portray the caped crusader at 69.

When Affleck was originally cast, however, he was the oldest actor to play Batman in 2013. But his age wasn’t necessarily the reason why certain fans had a problem with his casting. For some, fans couldn’t detach Affleck from his past movie roles and mistakes in the 2000s, which fueled fan reactions.

Ben Affleck has a history of being hated

Fan reaction was underwhelming when Affleck was first cast as Batman. Reddit is filled with posts that criticized the casting choice in one way or another. “This has George Clooney syndrome written all over it,” one Redditor posted.

“He brings too much baggage to the role. I won’t see Bruce Wayne on screen, I will see Ben Affleck.” Another Redditor commented.

This baggage might have come from the 2000s, where Affleck was generating a lot of ill will from the press. After riding high off of films like Good Will Hunting and Armageddon, the tide turned on Affleck. Although he’s still uncertain where that tide came from.

That hatred hit its peak between 2003 to 2004, where Affleck starred in a series of critically panned films. From Daredevil to Jersey Girl, Affleck’s choices in movie roles began to affect people’s perception of him. As GQ reported, some of the fire against Affleck seemed personal.

“At the risk of generalizing, there may not be a person on the planet who is more socially acceptable to hate,” one reviewer said according to GQ.

Affleck was as confused by the responses as he was offended.

“At the time, I knew on some level, ‘ This is insane.’What was that guy’s name who killed his wife and dumped her off the side of a boat?” Affleck asked before supplying himself the answer. “Peterson. I remember thinking he actually gets slightly better treatment than I do in the press.”

Ben Affleck’s comeback

After taking a break from the spotlight, however, Affleck came back strong. He won back over the media and critics by directing films like Gone Baby Gone and The Town. His highly publicized relationship with J.Lo had come to an end, making way for a much quieter life with actor Jennifer Garner. And he capped his comeback off with an Oscar win for best picture for Argo, which he also directed.

In a similar manner, Affleck managed to win fans over with his Batman performance. Although the Snyderverse has a divisive reputation, Affleck’s portrayal as Batman has received enormous praise. On websites like Reddit and Twitter many fawned over Affleck’s Batman performance and are eager to see him reprise his role one final time in The Flash.

The adorable reason why Ben Affleck became Batman

Affleck revealed a while back that he mainly took up the mantle for his children.

“I did Batman because I wanted to do it for my kids,” he said according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I wanted to do something that my son would dig.”

He recalled how he donned the Batsuit for his kids one time, and how much he loved the opportunity.

“I wore the suit to my son’s birthday party, which was worth every moment of suffering in Justice League,” Affleck confided.

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