Warning: There are massive spoilers for The Accountant below, so proceed at your own risk
In The Accountant, Ben Affleck plays an autistic genius who operates a nondescript financial services business out of an Illinois strip mall. Or, at least, that’s what he does when not working as a bookkeeper for some of the world’s most notorious gangsters and terrorists — for whom he also provides services as a professional assassin. Does that sound preposterous? You bet it does! And yet Affleck’s latest star vehicle makes far more sense when viewed through the prism of his previous role. That’s because Affleck’s The Accountant protagonist Christian Wolff — despite boasting a name fit for a Fifty Shades of Grey sequel — is really just Batman. Herewith, a rundown of the similarities between the actor’s number-crunching badass and caped crusader.
Bruce Wayne becomes Batman after his parents are brutally murdered in front of him. Wolff, meanwhile, first commits to his army father’s fight training (and embraces the man’s stand-up-for-yourself ethos) after his mother abandons the family. Later, Wolff becomes a full-fledged assassin-for-hire after watching his father get gunned down in front of his eyes while the two attend his mother’s funeral. The unmistakable equation here? Affleck + Witnessing Parents Shot to Death = Vengeful Covert Killer.
Watch: ‘The Accountant’ trailer:
Martial Arts Moves
In Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne becomes a stealthy ninja under the tutelage of Liam Neeson’s paternal figure Henri Ducard in the Tibetan mountains. Affleck’s Wolff, on the other hand, goes to Jakarta, Indonesia, to receive fisticuffs training with a wise mentor hired (and overseen) by his demanding daddy.
In both Batman and Wolff’s cases, their Asian-centric martial arts training makes them extraordinary. And with regards to Wolff, he possesses nominal “superpowers,” including an amazing mathematical intellect and precise, methodical skills.
Wolff and Batman both have secret lairs where they house their stockpile of deadly tools – the latter with the Batcave, and the former with an Airstream trailer parked in a giant storage unit, which contains Wolff’s collection of pistols, machine guns and sniper rifles (and passports and cash). It’s also home to his original Auguste Renoir and Jackson Pollack paintings, which he takes as payment for his criminal-accounting jobs — suggesting that, like Bruce Wayne, Wolff has a taste for the finer cultural things in life.
In Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck embodies the Dark Knight as a hero perfectly comfortable pulverizing, maiming and even outright killing his adversaries — without any moral handwringing. As such, his version of the DC character is perfectly in tune with The Accountant’s Wolff, who doesn’t bat an eye at taking out enemies with execution-style headshots.
Even though Affleck’s two protagonists are unrepentant killers, they’re also defined by their underlying nobility. Batman is committed to protecting Gotham against its criminal elements, and Wolff works for terrorists only to give away his cash compensation to charity. That, coupled with his day job helping working-class folk make the most of what they have, casts him in a distinct Robin Hood mold.
An Eye-in-the-Sky Assistant
Bruce Wayne’s nocturnal work as Batman is only possible thanks to the assistance of his trusty butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Wolff is similarly aided by an associate — heard only over cellphone — who provides him with mid-mission intel, new identities and financial arrangements.
A Brunette in the Know
In Nolan’s films, Bruce Wayne is in love with a feisty brunette, Rachel Dawes (played first by Katie Holmes, then by Maggie Gyllenhaal), who knows his secret identity. In The Accountant, Wolff is in love with a feisty brunette, Dana Cummings (Anna Kendrick), who knows his secret identity.
J.K. Simmons, Partner
Oscar-winning actor J.K. Simmons is set to play Commissioner Gordon (a.k.a. Batman’s Gotham Police Department cohort) in next year’s Justice League. As apparent preparation, Simmons plays a veteran Treasury agent in The Accountant who, it’s eventually revealed, has secretly been working with Wolff to take down high-level crooks.
A Super Fixation
Finally, as Zack Snyder’s blockbuster made abundantly clear, Affleck’s Batman is obsessed with Henry Cavill’s Man of Steel. Although Wolff isn’t quite that hung up on the Kryptonian hero, he does own — and take with him, when on the run — an original first issue of Action Comics, which featured the debut of Superman. Coincidence? I think not.
Superfan Watch: How Ben Affleck’s ‘Accountant’ character is really a superhero: