Top 10 actors who’d be a better Batman than Ben Affleck

NB – this is a collaborative blog, which is fun. All the even-numbered suggestions are from John Underwood, whilst their odd-numbered compatriots come courtesy of Vincent Kenny. Do bear this in mind if you’re offended by one of the suggestions and wish to track down and assassinate the appropriate writer.


#10 – Steve Buscemi (Armageddon)

He’s going at the end because Armageddon is hell of dated, but we will always love Steve Buscemi and we don’t care who knows it. In Armageddon, Buscemi’s character Rockhound demonstrates pretty much every skill that a wannabe Batman needs on his CV – he’s clearly mentally ill, he can cope with a massive reinforced suit and his eyes would look TERRIFYING through that Batcowl. And have you forgotten the scene in which he single-handedly tries to re-enact the end of Dr Strangelove by humping a nuclear warhead? Buscemi Batman would be a trigger-happy hero for the Call of Duty era, blithely turning Gotham into a smoking crater just because someone said “maybe doing the Mr Deeds remake wasn’t such a good idea, Steve-O”.


#9 – Josh Hartnett (Pearl Harbor)

Ah dreamy Josh Harnett. What ever happened to him? He was poised to be the next big heart-throb star back in the days of The Faculty. Who would have thought that the scrawny anaemic Elijah Wood far surpassed any fame our poor Josh Harnett had? Maybe 40 Days and 40 Nights laid a curse upon his soul. Which is why he’d make an excellent Batman! He even sort of looks like Joseph Gordon-Levitt if you squint. Ben Affleck teamed up with him in Pearl Harbor, and even though the pair of them were super racist (c,mon, yeah the Japanese are killing you but you don’t have to be a dick about it), Josh Harnett demonstrated his ability to run and scream, two tools Batman always kept in his utility belt.


#8 – Kevin Costner (The Company Men)

Did any of you see The Company Men? Probably not, but we did and it was really good. Batfleck plays a high-flying executive who loses his job in the wake of the financial crisis and is reduced to working as a labourer for his acerbic blue-collar brother-in-law Kevin Costner. Kev’s played everything from deposed lords (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves) to confused fish (Waterworld), and his consummate understanding of the breadth of the human psyche could pave the way for a Bruce Wayne whose arrogance is tempered by an understanding of the people for whom he fights. Maybe he invented Gothstagram, who knows.


#7 – Aaron Eckhart (Paycheck)

He’s already been Harvey Dent, and claimed that he was Batman in The Dark Knight, so why don’t we give him a spin? Beefy, charismatic, gives a great evil eye, screams like a hippo in heat, and he’s got a jawline that you could build buildings on. He and Ben Affleck went head-to-head in the film adaptation of Philip K Dick’s short story Paycheck, which was awful, but certainly not because of Eckhart’s performance. You’ll always be the blonde Bruce Wayne in our hearts, Aaron.


#6 – Alan Rickman (Dogma)

Improbably powerful, dressed in black and ostensibly acting for the greater good – Alan Rickman’s Metatron practically is Batman already. Plus he’s got no cock, which is going to massive cut down on the hours Alfred presumably has to spend rubbing Savlon into Bruce Wayne’s abraded genitals – there’s not a lot of room for movement in that suit. We’re not going to suggest that him and Kevin Costner have a sword fight over who gets to be Batman, because if we do you might remember that Kevin Costner is in Man of Steel and is therefore clearly exempt.


#5 – Morgan Freeman (The Sum Of All Fears)

Other than a seductive voice, Morgan Freeman has one other Batman-appropriate asset – a big ass nose. Have you looked at that thing lately? The nuclear bomb set off in The Sum Of All Fears could’ve been contained by beautiful Morgan’s cavernous thermal exhaust ports. Ben Affleck didn’t stand a chance – he was upstaged by Morgan’s palladian booger-columns from minute 1. Why is grand old schnoz so important for Batman? Well you’d got to stuff that cowl with something, and that something should have been Morgan Freeman.


#4 – Michael Clarke Duncan (Daredevil)

We don’t care that Michael Clarke Duncan is almost a year in his grave (that is to say, we do but it isn’t relevant) – he basically played Jesus in The Green Mile, there’s no way a mimsy heart attack would keep him from the role of a lifetime. Frequently typecast (including in Daredevil, where he out-acted Ben by a country mile) as a hulking villain, we’d love to see MCD squeeze into the Batsuit (perhaps after a bathe in a Lazarus Pit) and head after Gotham’s bad guys. Batarang? Not when you’ve got a BataFIST.


#3 – Bryan Cranston (Argo)

The obvious choice for a tortured soul that embraces his dark side, Bryan Cranston already has prodigious experience cooking meth – perhaps a stint on the other side of the law would have been amazing. Bryan Cranston’s performance as a stressed CIA manager in Argo showed how good our favourite character from Malcolm In The Middle would look in the obligatory Bruce Wayne suit. Also, that low, gravelly cancer-voice is perfect for the World’s Greatest Detective. We’re betting Ben Affleck’s never stared into the abyss.


#2 – Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting)

An aggressive genius whose intuition is only trumped by his huge burden of guilt? We’re only not putting this one at #1 because everyone else has played on the Affleck/Damon thing. Maybe, in a beautiful reversal of their Dogma roles, Ben could have played Robin to Matt’s Bruce – we can just see him wreathed in Lycra and helpful smiles. He mght have to lose the beard, though.


#1 – Simon Callow (Shakespeare in Love)

Did you remember Ben Affleck is in this film? He played the Elizabethan actor Edward Alleyn and managed to almost entirely to blend into the background. His star just hadn’t quite risen yet. He hadn’t even the J-Lo club yet (the club being her clammy and street-wise vagina). We briefly considered Joespeh Fiennes, but that guy doesn’t look like he could lift his own arms, let alone a padded suit. Superman would kill him if he spat on him, which he would certainly do within the first 3 minutes of meeting him. No, our choice for Batman would have been Simon Callow. Pithy, pissy, perturbed, petulant, probably perverted, Simon Callow always looks as though he just doesn’t give a shit, which is precisely the hero Gotham deserves.


Who do you want to see as Batman? If it’s Ben Affleck, shut up.


By Vincent Kenny and John Underwood

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