With official confirmation that Robert Pattinson is now the latest actor to take on the cape and cowl of Batman, Ben Affleck's tenure as Batman has come to an end.
Like Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck will have two movies to his name (three, if you count his cameo in 'Suicide Squad') in the role. From the very first moment Affleck was announced as Batman, there was consternation surrounding him as a choice. For one, that Batman was being so quickly replaced after Christian Bale gave what many to be the definitive performance of the character was a source of dismay. But, like any character in a franchise, actors move on and age out - and replacements are a fact of their continued existence.
Ben Affleck was working uphill from the very start. Replacing Christian Bale aside, the fact was that bringing the character into play - just one movie into the now largely defunct DCEU - was a terrible idea. 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' was a flawed idea from the very beginning, not the least of it being that trying to pair two fundamentally different actors together and expecting chemistry was destined for failure.
Look at Affleck's career up until 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'. You had layered performances like 'Gone Girl', 'Hollywoodland' (where he played George Reeves, one of the first actors to play Superman), and naturally 'Good Will Hunting'. He was an experienced, recognisable actor who was being paired up with Henry Cavill. His most notable role, up until that point, had been in the period drama TV series 'The Tudors', and a couple of supporting roles here and there.
While the producers and Zack Snyder might have been drawing on the inspiration of Christopher Reeve in hiring a relative unknown for the role of Superman, the fact remains that both actors were barely able to act in unison on screen. More than that, for a movie that was supposed to be a two-hander, you had Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman rolling through the story at different points.
Even when Affleck brought in his own screenwriter, Chris Terrio, it still wasn't enough to save 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' from being a mess. The only scenes that worked for Ben Affleck were when he was in full-action mode, really drawing on his physical presence to paint Batman as a terrifying demon, stringing men up out of nowhere and snapping arms like twigs.
It didn't get much better with 'Justice League' either - a movie so ill-conceived that it really doesn't even bear further scrutiny. It's one thing to place Batman into a world where he's become disillusioned and violent, but what does it say that he suddenly changes from this simply because Superman's death inspired him?
Now that Robert Pattinson has been installed as Batman, it's hard to know if Affleck's version of 'The Batman' might have saved his legacy in the role. Just eight months after Henry Cavill was dropped as Superman, Ben Affleck now shares the same fate. While Robert Pattinson comes to it with a fresh start, Ben Affleck came with baggage - and it got worse from there.