The new Batman must remember his “no killing” and “no weapons” rules, which were often forgotten in Ben Affleck’s portrayal.
The DC Universe needs to better distinguish between Bruce Wayne and Batman, highlighting that Batman is Bruce’s true identity.
The new Batman for the DC Universe’s The Brave and the Bold can learn several lessons from Ben Affleck’s iteration of the Caped Crusader from the DCEU. After James Gunn and Peter Safran were hired as co-CEOs of DC Studios in November 2022, they immediately put plans into motion to completely renovate DC’s live-action franchise, which included announcing new projects for their flagship superheroes, Superman and Batman. While Superman: Legacy will kick off the DC Universe’s new film series in 2025, The Brave and the Bold will feature a new actor in Batman’s cape and cowl, with a new actor assuming the role from Ben Affleck.
Ben Affleck debuted as Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and became a crucial character in establishing the DCEU’s Justice League. Much like Henry Cavill’s Superman, however, Affleck’s Batman wasn’t always positively received in the DCEU, and his tumultuous journey led to a planned solo project being canceled, and an appearance in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom also reportedly being cut. Affleck’s time as Batman was shrouded in controversy and division, but there are still several valuable lessons – for good or bad – that the DC Universe’s The Brave and the Bold can learn from Affleck’s Caped Crusader.
10 Bruce Wayne’s Childhood Needs To Be Explored In More Detail
Bruce Wayne’s childhood experiences are a key part of his evolution into the vigilante Batman, but this wasn’t really explored in depth in the DCEU. A few moments in the opening of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ran through Bruce Wayne’s parents’ deaths and his falling into a cave full of bats, but the next steps in him becoming Batman were never touched on. Bruce has had a traumatic childhood and upbringing, and him becoming Batman is a direct result of this, so these stories need to be investigated in more detail in the DC Universe, as this will only provide more context to his desire to be Batman.
9 Batman Needs To Remember His “No Killing” & “No Weapons” Rules
Famously, DC Comics’ Batman has a set of rules that stop him from going too far: keeping him within the law, retaining his own empathy, and stopping him from going beyond redemption. Usually, these are simplified to “no killing” and “no weapons,” but these are sometimes expanded so he doesn’t inflict brutal violence on others. Nevertheless, these rules seemed to be completely forgotten in the DCEU, as Ben Affleck’s Batman injured many people, wielded weapons many times, and even killed a number of people across his entire DCEU career. Batman’s rules are at the core of his belief system, so need to be remembered in The Brave and the Bold.
8 Bruce Wayne & Batman Must Be Distinguishable
One of Batman’s core aspects that the DCEU struggled to solidify is the idea that the Caped Crusader and the man behind the mask are two different entities. Bruce Wayne and Batman often had the same intentions in the DCEU, and this didn’t always fit the storyline, so the DC Universe needs to better distinguish between Bruce and Batman. It’s become consensus that Batman is Bruce’s true identity, while billionaire Bruce Wayne is the mask, and if this idea is going to be integrated into the DCU, Bruce Wayne needs to be clearly different and separated from Batman. This would also provide some fun acting exercises for the new Batman.
7 The DC Universe’s Batman Needs To Show Off More Of His Gadgets
Ben Affleck’s Batman was missing some of the magic of previous iterations of the character, as he never really got the opportunity to show off some of the Caped Crusader’s gadgets. While Affleck’s Batman costume did include the famous utility belt, the gadgets used weren’t exactly technological marvels, and his various vehicles and Batcave weren’t really put into focus at all – at least not until Ben Affleck’s scenes in 2023’s The Flash. While Batman’s gadgets could feel goofy in DC Studios’ new franchise, the new Batman needs to show off more exciting tools and skills, harking back to previous versions of Batman who relied more heavily on their gadgets.
6 Batman Deserves More Solo Movies In The DC Universe
After debuting as Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck began to set plans in motion to direct and star in a solo Batman project in the DCEU. However, when Warner Bros. made changes to Justice League after Zack Snyder’s departure, Affleck eventually departed his own project, leaving the only solo DCEU Batman film to be canceled. After the positive reception to Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which featured Robert Pattinson in the titular role outside the DCEU’s timeline, DC Studios would be smart to develop more solo projects for Batman in the DC Universe, developing his story without tying him so closely to the franchise’s other heroes.
5 Bruce Wayne Needs To Be A Skilled Detective In The Brave & The Bold
As well as holding the nicknames “The Dark Knight” and “The Caped Crusader,” Batman is also known as “The World’s Greatest Detective,” but this moniker certainly wasn’t earned in the DCEU. Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne did basically no detective work whatsoever, despite having plenty of narrative opportunities to do so, and this became glaringly obvious when Matt Reeves’ The Batman delivered a true detective-style Batman. The Brave and the Bold’s Batman needs to be able to actually solve crimes like a detective would, so needs to display these skills in the DC Universe, hopefully avoiding the cluelessness of Ben Affleck’s Batman.
4 The DC Universe Needs A Younger Bruce Wayne
When audiences were introduced to Affleck’s Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, he was already in his mid-40s. This meant that the DCEU had very few places it could go with its older and wiser Batman, as not much character development could be done. No casting news has yet been revealed for the DC Universe’s Batman, but Gunn and Safran should strive to cast someone younger in the role, even though Bruce Wayne will be appearing alongside his son, Damian, in The Brave and the Bold. A younger Batman means there’s more room to grow, which is essential for a lengthy career in the DCU.
3 Bruce Wayne Needs A More Practical Batman Suit
Ben Affleck’s Batman showed off several iterations of his superhero costume in the DCEU, including the bulky mech suit in Dawn of Justice, his trench-coated Knightmare suit in Justice League, and the plated, gray-and-black suit from The Flash. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with Batman changing his suit repeatedly, only his main Batman suit in Batman v Superman provided any real practical usage. This suit allowed ease of movement and looked sleek and modern, which is something that the DC Universe’s Batman needs to emulate, hopefully getting rid of the heavier and more inconvenient costumes that certainly wouldn’t help him in battle.
2 The Brave & The Bold’s Batman Will Finally Have His Robin
James Gunn’s announcement of The Brave and the Bold revealed that the project will explore Bruce Wayne’s relationship with his son, Damian Wayne, a version of Robin from DC Comics. Different versions of Robin, usually depicted as a junior counterpart and sidekick to Batman, have been depicted in live-action over the years, but the DCEU didn’t bother to include him. Instead, Robin’s suit can be seen in Batman v Superman with a message written on it implying that the Joker had killed him prior to the events of the film. The DC Universe can deliver justice for Robin, giving him his fair share of attention where the DCEU completely failed.
1 Batman Needs To Be A Street-Level Hero (At First)
One of the biggest mistakes that the DCEU made with Batman was making him a high-profile and world-saving hero from the outset. DC Comics’ Batman does become a member of the Justice League and interacts with other heroes, but at his core, he’s the protector of Gotham City. Batman’s escapades as a street-level vigilante are important to his character, so need to be adapted for the DC Universe’s new version, particularly since the DCEU didn’t focus on this part of Batman’s story at all. The Brave and the Bold appears to be a family affair, so will beneficially be a smaller-scale story than those in the DCEU.
Key Release Dates
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
Joker: Folie a Deux
The Batman – Part II
DCU’s new Batman can learn from Ben Affleck. Read More