Zack Snyder Confirms His Second Choice For Batman If Ben Affleck Turned Down Role

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Ben Affleck Batman

After Christian Bale's Batman era came to an end, it was clear that a new actor would fill the cowl eventually, but who? It all eventually came down to one actor: Ben Affleck.

However, some fans hated the casting. While many could get quite riled up very quickly, this news, in particular, seemed to strike a lot of nerves.

Then, Batman v Superman arrived. Followed by Justice League a year later—with director Zack Snyder's full vision, of course, only recently making an appearance—both films were not received well by many critics and fans alike. But, there was one consistent praise across the board and that was Affleck's portrayal of the iconic character. 

But, what would have happened if Affleck didn't take the role? Who would have taken over the legacy of The Dark Knight? Well, Snyder has an answer for that.


During an appearance on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Zack Snyder discussed what would have happened if Ben Affleck had refused the role of Bruce Wayne.

Snyder started out by firmly pausing Affleck’s work, saying that “Affleck is an incredible Bruce Wayne:

“Affleck is directly on the nose as well [in terms of fitting the role of Batman]. Like Affleck is an incredible Bruce Wayne."

Then, the real question came up. Did Snyder ever have a plan B if Affleck said no to the role? One name quickly came to mind: “Matthias Schoenarts.”

“Matthias Schoenaerts... I was talking to him a lot."

matthias schoenaerts
Matthias Schoenarts in Netflix's The Old Guard

Snyder may have considered Schoenarts, but how far did those considerations go? According to him, the actor “never got in the suit:”

“He never got in the suit, but I did do a bunch of mockups with him. Because Ben was on the fence. I don’t blame him. Everyone should be on the fence when you want to play Batman."


Matthias Schoenarts would have been an interesting choice for sure. A relatively unknown actor in the United States, at least compared to Affleck, Schoenarts is a Belgian actor & filmmaker who has starred in films such as Red Sparrow and The Old Guard. He is also set to star in the upcoming TV series Django next year.

Following the poor reception of 2017's Justice League, Ben Affleck's future in the role was unclear. The solo Batman film that he had been working on ended up falling into development limbo, eventually being tossed out completely. For all intents and purposes, Affleck seemed done with the role.

That all changed recently as The Flash was gearing up for production, and it was announced that Ben Affleck would be returning to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. It was a surprise to many, but a welcome one for sure. Now, fans won't have to worry about all the loose ends that would have been left hanging if Affleck remained absent. As for his overall role in the film, nothing more is known besides his involvement in general. 

The future of Batman still looks to be far more than Affleck. In fact, joining him is Michael Keaton's original Batman—something that has launched the anticipation for The Flash to the stratosphere. Then, there's Robert Pattinson's The Batman, which potentially holds the same level of excitement—maybe more.  

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.