Fans Petition Warner Bros. to Remove Ben Affleck as Batman

Ben Affleck Batman Fan Petition
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images

Over 30 petitions sprung up on overnight to cast another actor as Batman

Well, that didn’t take long.

Fans rained a torrent of criticism down upon the internet just minutes after Warner Bros. announced it had cast Ben Affleck as the next Batman in its upcoming Batman vs. Superman tentpole, with more than 30 petitions springing up on to remove the actor overnight.

With vitriol oddly reminiscent of the backlash to Heath Ledger’s casting as the Joker in 2008’s “The Dark Knight,” fans took to the web to condemn everything from Affleck’s star power to his acting chops.

“His acting skill is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne and he wont’ do the role justice,” said one anti-Affleck petition that drew 3,200 signatures. Another has over 6,000 signatures.

“He’s not built, nor is he intimidating enough for the role of Batman.”

An online petition on the “We the People” section of the White House Petition system, which “allows all Americans to ask the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country,” requested to make it illegal for Ben Affleck to portray Batman (or any super hero) on film for the next 200 years.

But the White House blocked the petition and removed it from the site for being in violation of their terms of participation.

Here’s what the petition looked like before it was taken down:

Reps for Affleck and Warner Bros. did not respond to requests for comment.

SEE ALSO: Twitter Lashes Out Against Ben Affleck as the New Batman

But why are there so many haters?

Fanboys may still hold a grudge against Affleck for his much-panned performance in 2003’s “Daredevil.”

The experience made Affleck swear off superhero films, and the thesp began focusing much of his attention behind the camera.

But Affleck has done something of a 180 with his career since his “Gigli” days.

His 2007 directorial debut, “Gone Baby Gone,” caught the attention of then-film chief Jeff Robinov, who championed Affleck at the studio. Since then, the thesp has brought WB awards pics including “Argo” and “The Town,” both of which he directed and starred in.

Roles in those films and 2010’s “Company Men” also flexed Affleck’s muscles as a serious actor in a way that hadn’t been on display for years. And that muscle could be appealing to director Christopher Nolan, who took the Batman character down an increasingly darker path with his last three films (Nolan is exec producing the “Batman vs. Superman” pic).

Affleck lost one of his biggest champions at Warner Bros. when Robinov ankled the studio in June (the actor released a lengthy statement at the time), and a hit with “Batman” could help Affleck solidify his relationship with the new regime of top dog Kevin Tsujihara, Sue Kroll and Greg Silverman. “I don’t know what I would do if Jeff weren’t there,” the actor said at the time.

Fan approval. therefore, won’t be the only thing riding on Affleck’s lycra-clad shoulders as he dons Batman’s cape.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 113

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Darren Smith says:

    I will watch the film but not paying the movie theatre. Red box for sure, maybe the dollar movie. What about you.. You can take the pledge

    • Batman Fan says:

      He looks too pot-head for a batman role… They say Scott Adkins is bad on acting… Well, Ben Affleck is worse for Batman… I saw the movie and Ben Affleck sucked as expected…

  2. Joe says:

    The man is a no talent hack. He started out working with a jerk named Kevin Smith, and Warner Brothers is typical Hollywoodwhen it comes to superhero movies. That’s why Marvel is ahead right now/

  3. Serge says:

    Bad choice, it will be a big failure.

  4. thomas says:

    Dare devil need I say more please don’t destroy what could be a great movie byputting a arrogant none acting turd like Ben Affleck as batman. Don’t destroy batmans image and legacy . He is not worthy. U may as well have Ben stine play batman..

  5. Mario says:

    Ben afflect dosent not know what real pain is!!!nor fear!!!! This will not give him the edge that he will need to pull off a batman role. Hollywood is always looking for the pretty boys to play these roles when they should be doing a little research on characters before slapping some golden spoon feed weak willed bitch on a project that will doom the franchise AGAIN !!!! Thanks George clooney

  6. cat says:

    Christian Bale was an awesome batman, but I think if he had to be recreated than Brant Daugherty who played on Army Wives season 7. He has the voice the sport body, the smile, the jaw line and the eyes to be batman. I’m sure everyone will love him

  7. Alex says:

    This is ridiculous! Why did Batman need to be re-casted anyway? Christian Bale did great job! Warner Brothers needs to find someone more suitable for the role; or they may have some people going into the theaters expecting the worst out of the movie…

  8. Lorie says:

    My teenage kids are fans of Batman and they feel as well as I do that Ben is not suitable to play Batman. There are so many other great actors that could fill the role. It would have been a great fit if Andy from BVB would have accepted the role. But I guess that’s not an option. We do not dislike Ben we just feel he’s not suitable.

  9. SeriouslyPOd says:

    Ben Affleck as Batman! What’s next Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs?

  10. carmen says:

    Don’tgo to see the movie. Or rented.He already has a contract. Don’t Go To See The Movie simple us that.

  11. abdul halif says:

    in Pakistan can hang Ben Affleck, when he will act in the role of Batman.

  12. Base says:

    Ya know, Nolan and WB were on the right track with the new take on Batman using Bale and going with a more darker tone. The Joker was solid and Oscar caliber. Then WB had cast Henry Cavill as Superman and that movie turned out decent, and after that, they decide to reboot the Batman franchise to set up a Justice League movie. Nolan and WB were doing everything right, they were on a roll, and for a second I thought for sure they would give Marvel a worthy rival. But then they go and cast Ben Affleck as Batman….seriously? Come on…*sigh* well, I will just wait for the next reboot of the reboot. Until then Marvel has a few movies coming out soon and of course, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Looking forward to it.

  13. scott devine says:

    ben affleck is not the right role to play batman christian bale is the batman he is what made batman what it is today nobody will be able to pull it off like he did he is the only true batman and should be playing in this movie

  14. Mimi says:

    I am not a “fanboy,” just a female fan of action movies, who was interested in seeing the upcoming Superman movie until the bad casting. The people that media are trying to insult are the “fans” that pay the cash to see the movies and take their families and friends. This casting was one of the jokes of the day at work by executives. Sorry, not going to see it.

  15. Suneagle says:

    “Wow Ben really? No offense buddy but you can’t portray Batman not after you butchered DareDevil. Sorry Bud… Honestly let’s just start Voting the right people for these roles! I vote Scott Adkins for Batman and Micheal Jai-White as Black Panther!!”

  16. SeriouslyPOd says:

    I don’t know what morons they got running the studios at WB. First you cast Halle Berry in Catwoman. Then Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern. Now Ben Affleck as Batman. Your seriously trying to compete with the Avengers. Good Luck! You’re better off casting the Aflac Duck for the role.

  17. Steffanie ferguson says:

    Oh please. He can’t compare to Christian Bale as Batman. U will ruin the movie if he is Batman. The person as Robin at the end of the last movie should become the new batman. Have Christian on the movie long enough to train him and Robin become Batman. The bad guy trained batman (to early in the morning to remember his name) so Batman needs to train Robin. Don’t disc race the movie with this guy as Batman. Honor the movie goers that lost their lives and get a better actor to play Batman. Not this comedian. If he is the new Batman I won’t go see it because it will be a joke.

  18. Bird says:

    I guarantee all these people will see it anyway even if he stays in the roll.

  19. Bird says:

    Does it concern anyone else that when it come to the next Batman people get organized, but when it comes to serious social issues the same people can’t get out from behind their Mountain Dew and video games to do anything.

  20. Anthony says:

    ben affleck as batman? might as well put j-lo as catwoman!!!

  21. Brian says:

    If Warner bros are not going to remove Ben Affleck from the role as Batman I will be forced as one of the biggest Batman fans alive to broadcast all over the world internet,local papers,even if i have to travel to make people hear that this is a tragedy and if they really want to see the movie to wait till it hits DVD and rent it on red box for a dollar or see it at a dollar movie theater if must do not go see this movie if Warner bros does not care about what the fans of Batman and the DC movie franchise think then we shouldn’t give them our hard earned money so they can ruin more of our favorite and loved characters we have grown up with our whole lives if they want to just make a movie go ahead doesn’t mean we have to go watch this crap I will not support them if they are just going to crap all over Batman like that then they can do it on there own dollar

  22. Ben Piper says:

    I don’t think Ben Affleck will be a good Bruce Wayne/Batman I really don’t think he can pull it off and he will ruin the Batman films.

  23. John says:

    Ben was terrible in Daredevil now he will destroy Batman. So sad I wont be watching this film, The good news is The Avengers sequel will be out the same summer. I’ll be first in line for the Avengers.

  24. Dan says:

    Damn, if people put as much effort into socioeconomic issues as they do in shit like this, then maybe we wouldn’t be in trillions of dollars of debt. Get the fuck over it.

  25. Nicki says:

    I’m gonna guess people that watched Brokeback Mountain couldn’t picture Heath Ledger as the Joker either, I’m so sick of this “outcry of the public” for the casting of movies PRE-FILM.. are you wealthy or intelligent enough to direct your own Batman/Superman movie and select the cast? Then shut the fuck up until you are. Throwing temper tantrums and shitting all over Ben Affleck isn’t going to make your life better, and neither will holding it against him if the movie does flop, grow up and move on.

  26. chris chrz says:

    I thought this was a joke but this is actually a reality. I will boycott as well as my entire family, this batman “movie” as well as any super man movie that he appears in for My entire life. Horrible idea.

  27. Boycott Man of Steel 2 says:

    WB doesn’t respect the fans. It’s time for us to take a stand and Boycott all DC films. Let then know that we’re serious.

  28. Col Anngus says:

    Unless he’s been hiding some untapped talent for acting. I see this as a dismal failure. If he is going to be batman I will not waste my time or money on this train wreck.

    • Stephen says:

      In the above comment: Someone who clearly hasn’t seen the last few Affleck films.
      One bad film does not mean you are always bad.

      Also, daredevil is a shit movie anyway you look at it, and the premise is so retarded it’s impossible to suspend disbelief. Shakespeare couldn’t write a good treatment for that franchise.

  29. Wade Wilson says:

    “he’s not built enough”
    Ignorant words from someone who doesn’t realize Bale was 120 lbs coming off the Machinist to do Begins. Dip-5h1t fanboy tards…

  30. Christina says:

    Fans WORLDWIDE have SPOKEN! NO Ben BATMAN! 49,000 Petitions in just 1 day!!!

  31. Get over it nerds. Affleck is Batman. He’ll do just fine. You don’t have to slit your wrists over it. Besides don’t you whiners have some kind of anti-George Lucas blog you have to tend to?

    • Christina says:

      Jerk Jackie….
      This horrific casting offends NOT ONLY ‘nerds’ but also SUPERMAN fans / BATMAN fans / women / children / anyone who sees the dignity these superheroes hold. Any actor with such NEGATIVE BAGGAGE (Daredevil, inability to act, arrogant attitude, bad taste in women (JLO), gambling problem (Poker for days without showering at an LA casino), lack of dignity distinction) SHOULD NOT and does not deserve to play such a respectable hero!

    • kevin says:

      This nerd could kick your ass, goober. Affleck is a douche-bag (you just happen to like douche-bags)

  32. nick says:

    Jason stackem should be the next Batman, he is the bomb.

  33. It is kind of funny when everyone is up in arms about this. Whatever happened to a big petition when they whitewash films, like they did in Airbender and other films, seriously, half the actors that played Batman wasn’t that good.

  34. shut up you ************ kids you guys think you know anything about Batman and shit. instead you only knew about the trilogy of “The Batman” which is entirely a different reality.

  35. Peter says:

    Awful. He is not intimidating and Batman doesnt work if the audience thinks they are more dark and brooding and can kick the Dark Knight’s ass. And I like Affleck.

    I will not see this. I call for a general boycott so WB can learn what its like to kill 2 franchises and any chance for a JLA movie.

    • Virginia says:

      I care enough to agree it’s a bad idea and I also like BA well enough in the right part – not this one. There was an interesting list of rumored casting choices online a while back and not one of the choices was BA but all of them were better choices IMO. This smells more like casting based on the good will from Argo and wanting a “name” Hollywood actor – a mistake, I also won’t be seeing this as it’s BA playing Batman like Tom Cruise playing Jack Reacher – NOT believable even if they don’t suck. Maybe BA thinks he can pull a Heath Ledger but the Joker gets a boost from heavy makeup etc. There will be BA trying to look intense and brooding and STILL looking like the guy next door changing his oil and mowing the lawn on weekends.
      Is this going to be a parody?

    • PeopleRdumb says:

      No one cares..

  36. kaib says:

    I actually think Ben is the perfect choice! He’ll be great in the role.

  37. eishucool says:

    Ben As Batman Will Be Awesome I Cant Wait for movie . . .
    i m a big fan of ben and i will be watching this movie for sure

  38. 1989 and 1992. Directed by Tim Burton, Batman was brought to life by Michael Keaton. His performance: Dark and mysterious.

    1995. Directed by Joel Schumacher. Val Kilmer was in charge of giving life to The Dark Knight. Somehow, he tried to be dark, but in my opinion, The Riddler (Jim Carrey) achieved such a terrific performance, so psychotically perfect, that it overshadowed Kilmer in every aspect.

    1997. Directed by Joel Schumacher, THIS was the total catastrophe for the name Batman. It killed it. Though Clooney’s performance was at the most average/good, Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze completely overshadowed Batman. Bane’s character was entirely distorted. Poison Ivy was personified as a prostitute. Bat girl was portrayed as a girl from “Mean Girls”. There were so many problems and mistakes with that movie that the only thing that made me watch it was the name: Batman.

    8 years passed, and no one remembered the name of Batman, let alone Bruce Wayne. Until someone decided to bring the character back to life, but this time it would be from the beginning. 2005 was the year of Batman’s rebirth. Christopher Nolan presented his analysis of who Bruce Wayne was and what motivated him. Christian Bale was in charge of personifying the man and the vigilante in three movies (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises). There were some continuity issues in the third installment; in the second one, Ledger’s Joker was amazingly disturbing. However, the majority of people now remember Batman because of Nolan, because of Bale. Dark. Shadowy. His rage and his search for justice are but a product, which is fueled by his quest for revenge. Revenge, against the crime that put an end to his parents’ lives before his eyes when he was just a kid.

    Now it is Ben Affleck’s turn to be Batman. It is his turn to go deep into the comic book, and study who Bruce Wayne is and look in his past in order to understand his motives. In order to understand his rage. It is my personal opinion that only by doing this research, this study so to speak can Affleck understand that Bruce Wayne isn’t just a wealthy man full of gadgets, but a man in an endless struggle for justice, a man who has lost hope in the system and that decided to inflict his own into others. Affleck has a great deal of work to do. Snyder and Nolan have even more.

  39. modi says:

    I don’t think most people hate him, I think most people acknowledge that he is an academy award winning talent behind the camera. They also acknowledge his limited range in front of the camera. This is the issue. He has made several documented statements against playing such characters. This is not the type of individual that should be a star of a movie in this genre. It’s bad business. The only support he receives is from those in hollywood who don’ t want to burn bridges and hope to work with him in the future. The comparisons to Ledger are really quite sickening such that the skill level is not even close. The criticism about his physical appearance is nonsense, anyone can be built into a super hero these days through personal trainers. The real issue is there is a nostalgic iconic character that has been translated on film in an epic trilogy and none of those players save a writer is involved with this film. Just like the miscasting of Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern this is another ‘hollywood’ move to get a top celebrity to pull in box office. It’s pathetic. It’s sad. It’s business as usual.

  40. Kay says:

    This is funny. People complained about Daniel Craig when he was cast as James Bond and Health Ledger as the Joker. They turned out all right. Anyways, this is all a ploy. Your expectation of Ben Affleck will be so low, that he only has to do a mediocre job and everyone will be astounded.

  41. Matt Damon says:

    Possibly the worst casting decision in the history of cinema. Makes Sofia Coppola in Godfather III look like a wise choice in comparison.

  42.! not

  43. This is really scary. And IMMATURE! If this was another field of work, we would be calling this action ‘discriminating’!!! I feel sick that anyone would try to prevent another person, or professional, from the growth and potentiality that any new opportunities present to then, especially when qualified.

  44. Janet says:


    Omg!! This is terrible I hate Ben afflleck, who is casting him.. Doesnt anybody remember Daredevil! Ryan Goslin better fit.

  45. dana gardner says:

    first its the hollywood favortisim thats going on here what ever secret socitiy he belongs to is trying to look out for him saying give it a chance it will be too late so there not pushing this because he is good actor its just the “connections”. then they are just going to do what everyone in power seems to do that is force their will its so so so so so so obvious that he is not wanted nothing like this has every happened over a movie even getting me to speak out so they are saying to the fans that “we dont care” we gonna use the meadia to try to change the minds or have peopls who could give a heck less make comments like “lets wait to see if he sucks” or give it a chance” hell nal so thats makes it so much worst i almost want to kill (ben) to not see it happen i love batman i saw the last movie 5 times at the imax and when they brought it back and i went all out for superman and was so waiting to see it and did about 6 times and buying and bought the blue rays. he ( ben ) and his connections are just trying to pool in the dark night success and of course money ben is and was just about washed up pay check was probbally the best he did if he wanted to make a hit super hero movie should have did it with dare devil couldnt even do that. i hope this gets a big as the protest of the 99% vs the 1% because its the same thing they dont care about the fans but they want the money they barely got by with henry cavill with man of steel i like the guy but batman has beeen the better movie so far and christian bale is the man and will always be bat man. it such

  46. R Kel says:

    Ben Affleck is DareDevil…. Tired of actors playing multiple super hero roles (Chris Evans – Human Torch/Capt America; Ryan Reynolds- Green Lantern/Dead Pool). And we know how DareDevil turned out. What happened to finding no name actors or C actors that want/need work and will actually put their best super hero foot forward.

  47. Kathy James says:

    Oh Please not Ben Affleck. He is no way, mysterious, taunting, intimidating, or just down right cool. He is just a nerdy looking guy that does not even have a cool voice. Are you telling me that out of all the millions of actors, and upcoming actors that are out there, you guys come up with Ben Affleck… Seriously ?????

  48. Marshall Silverman says:

    Batman is a role which requires a new face. The fans come to the theater to see the character of Batman. If they arrive to discover its just Ben Affleck (or George Clooney, or Val Kilmer, or other familiar faces), their excitement level goes way down. They want to see Batman. They want a face they can believe is Batman, not one they know darn well is NOT Batman. The studio could multiply its box office grosses if they could just learn this. Its not star power which sells the majority of tickets to this type of movie; its believability. Fans want to get into the fantasy and root for their favorite character. They don’t want to be jarred out of the experience by having to look at a face which they have preconceived notions about.

  49. Harry says:

    Replacing Christian Bale with Ben Affleck is like replacing Daniel Radcliffe with Hayden Christensen at Harry Potter Movies.
    I think JLA is already DOOMED!!!

  50. Harry says:

    Replacing Christian Bale wit Ben Affleck is like replacing Daniel Radcliffe Hayden Christensen at Harry Potter Movies.
    I think JLA is already DOOMED!

More Film News from Variety