Ben Affleck As Batman: The Real Reason He Was Cast

One common theme links the actors who have played Gotham's crime fighter

So Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in the next Superman sequel, starring alongside Henry Cavill for an expected 2015 release.

"We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics' most enduringly popular super heroes," said Warner Bros President Greg Silverman, "and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill and then some."

Fair enough, but we can't help thinking that what the filmmakers were really looking for, and what they found in Affleck, was an extraordinary chin. 

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Given that the lower jaw is Batman's only visible face furniture, the need for a significant and charismatic mandible is a prerequisite for anyone wanting to play Gotham's Dark Knight with any real gravitas.

Look at the Batman roll call - Adam West, Michael Keaton, George Clooney and Christian Bale, all men with significant lower face apendages and capable of stealing a scene with the subtlest of lower jaw movement.

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As director Zac Snyder puts it: "He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne."

Chops is definitely the word.

The other contenders rumoured to have narrowly missed out:

John Travolta
Hollywood execs refused to cave in when Travolta's cleft chin asked for its own on-set trailer.


David Coulthard
The anvil-jawed Scot's head rumoured to be too wide to fit through the Batmobile door.


Lionel Ritchie
Talks broke down when Ritchie wanted Diana Ross as Batwoman.


Bruce Forsyth
A conractual stipulation for the octogenarian Forsyth to tap dance his entry into every scene went against him.


Clare Balding
Out of the running after a scheduling conflict as host of Crufts.