Monday, February 20, 2017

Rumor: Ben Affleck no longer wants to star in 'The Batman'

It's really getting painful to watch the DC Cinematic Universe completely unravel. Fans of these films seem to think that everybody gets a sick sense of satisfaction in watching these films fail, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. I devoured DC Comics as a kid, and Batman has always been my favorite superhero. Christopher Nolan's Batman films are so important to me, and I would love to see a successful, entertaining Justice League film on the big screen. And to be honest with you, for all of its flaws, I actually quite enjoyed Batman v Superman. However, in the months since the critical drubbing that Dawn of Justice took, Warner Bros. has been on a path of self-destruction that seems irreversible at this point. Suicide Squad was a fiasco of epic proportions, and the studio took all of the wrong lessons from the response to Batman v Superman. Rumors began to swirl around issues with Wonder Woman, while the first Justice League trailer showed a distinctly Marvel-esque superhero film. On top of all of that, multiple directors departed pre-production on The Flash, while Ben Affleck recently bailed on his directorial duties on The Batman. Matt Reeves was initially in talks to replace him, but as we all learned yesterday, it looks like that won't be happening. So basically, things aren't looking good for this cinematic universe.

And then comes the big rumor. Last week, John Campea of Collider Movie Talk told his audience a big rumor that many of us suspected already. While Campea said that this news should be taken with a massive grain of salt, considering his poor record on scoops, he noted that he talked with three separate sources who all said that Ben Affleck no longer has the desire to star as Batman. He is currently in negotiations with Warner Bros. to remove himself from the role, and if the two sides cannot come to an agreement, The Batman will be the last time that he'll suit up as the character.

This isn't really surprising in any way, and if you're a fan of Affleck like me, this is great news. Look, he's good as the character. He really is. With the right script and the right director, he would be an excellent Batman and an even better Bruce Wayne. But he's stuck in a mismanaged mess of a cinematic universe, and he's an immensely talented actor and filmmaker. I would much rather see Affleck do stuff like Argo and Gone Girl, the kind of films that brought him critical acclaim and awards attention. As a fan of Affleck and a fan of Batman, I want to see this partnership end. However, worst of all, I think this speaks volumes about the status of Justice League. Affleck was burned by Batman v Superman- reports said that after telling everyone how great it was, he was bitterly disappointed by the vicious reviews. But if he was really confident in the direction taken in Justice League, I have a feeling he'd be out there doing all he could to sell this new vision.

Unfortunately, I'm taking this as a sign that he's lost confidence in the whole damn thing, and the loss of Matt Reeves possibly indicates that things aren't going to get better soon. If I'm DC, I'm starting over with The Batman. Get Snyder, Affleck, and Cavill out. Hell, get the whole Justice League out. Start completely fresh. Give Geoff Johns the reigns from a comic book perspective, but find someone who actually knows what they're doing from a business perspective- they need a Kevin Feige. Get a visionary, bold director to direct The Batman. Focus on solo projects for Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman. Work on the tone. Keep the studio interference at a minimum. And from there, take another stab at it. But with all of the behind-the-scenes turmoil, we're looking a potentially catastrophic year. Here's hoping for the best.

Source: Collider Movie Talk

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