As we await news on whether Ben Affleck will ever reprise his role as Batman, now is a good time to hop in the time machine and go back to 2013. A week before the announcement that Affleck would be the new Caped Crusader was made, a rumor began to circulate that Christopher Nolan had recommended Wes Bentley for the part to Zack Snyder. Nolan, of course, was a producer on Man of Steel and an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, so his opinion was important.
It doesn’t sound too far-fetched when you consider that Nolan worked with Bentley on Interstellar, so he’d be well aware of the actor’s abilities and availability. Whether he actually did suggest Bentley or not, only Nolan, Snyder and Warner Bros. know the truth there.
One thing we are aware of, though, is that Bentley loves the Dark Knight and wanted the part. Speaking to ScreenRant in 2016, he said, “I loved comic books but the only one I ever — the only hero before I would have ever wanted to play, now I don’t think I’d be interested in any of them – but Batman would’ve been the only one.”
It does make you wonder what could’ve been.
Looking at Bentley, it’s easy to see why Nolan might’ve earmarked him for the role. Not only does he have the smoldering appeal to pull off the handsome, billionaire playboy bit, but he’s also got an intensity and darkness behind his eyes that shows another side of him. Physically, he’s no match for Affleck, but he’s roughly the same height and build as previous Batman actors, so his casting wouldn’t have upset audiences.
Bentley also possesses talent in droves. Yes, his personal demons derailed his career for many years, but he grasped his second chance with both hands and has gone on to reestablish himself as a recognized and respected actor in Hollywood. The role of Batman, however, would’ve brought him unparalleled fame and attention. More importantly, his casting would’ve had a major impact on the DC Extended Universe and Worlds of DC as a whole.
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