Great Actors the DCEU Completely Failed: Ben Affleck’s Batman Wasn’t the Only DC Disappointment
Unfortunately, the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has acquired a not-so-favorable reputation as a filmic world that cannot be bothered with an integrated landscape and fails to produce narratives as equally captivating as the cinematics at hand. Not to mention, though able to offer up the money required to snag top tier actors, the DCEU often fails to provide a script worthy of its talent or characterizations that rise above sub-par two-dimensionality.
This is not to say that all DC installments have been a disaster — or that all characters have lacked appeal — for Wonder Woman and Shazam! both exceeded expectations. However, this list will highlight the DC actors who deserved more, starting with the one and only Ben Affleck.
1. Ben Affleck / Batman
Ben Affleck is a two-time Oscar winner and two-time Golden Globe winner. From writing and directing to acting, Affleck is quite the talented man when it comes to Showbiz, yet Batman v. Superman didn’t leave him much to work with.
Bruce Wayne is a complex figure — with unsolved internal turmoil and a crusader complex worthy of a few therapy sessions — and while Affleck did his best to convey the darkness inherent to the character, the movie drowned in comic book style action sequences and over-the-top effects. Thus, the performance fell flat due to a lacking script that seemed to rely on the character’s understood persona as an excuse to evade a necessary illustration. Two superheroes in one movie work well when both have received necessary development and exploration.
2. Jared Leto / Joker
Suicide Squad did Jared Leto dirty. Those behind the production tossed him into a mix of a bunch of other vigilantes, bad guys, and antiheroes merely to remove a ton of the scenes in which his character stole the spotlight. Leto had potential — the look, the talent, the method-type commitment — to play a crazed and edgy, contemporary take on Joker. However, those involved fought diligently to dim his light and diminish his dastardly dialogue. He became a caricature of sorts — stripped of pivotal scenes — he was reduced to an idea, as opposed to an individual.
3. Viola Davis / Amanda Waller
So, let’s get this straight: Warner Bros. took one of Hollywood’s most incredible actresses — a three-time Oscar nominee and a one-time winner — and turned her into a flat, ruthless agent on a mission. She had no potential for moments of unpredictability. How dare you cast Viola Davis and not give her huge shoes to fill? If anyone in the Suicide Squad cast could have redeemed this movie via performance alone, Davis would have been the ticket to redemption.
4. Ezra Miller / The Flash
Ezra Miller plays Barry Allen in the DC Extended Universe and, at this point, the character has yet to receive a standalone installment — which, if it ever happens, could give the competent actor a chance to redeem a role that has, up to this point, been small and unimpressive. Yet, let’s not get our hopes up, as Warner Bros. doesn’t always finish the projects it starts.