“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Very noble, and very positive. I truly believe both parties involved – Mr. Affleck and Warner Bros. Pictures – are sincere in what they said and want this film to come to fruition.
But WANTING it to happen doesn’t mean it’s ultimately GOING to happen.
Over the course of last year (2016), everything seemed to be going smoothly with Mr. Affleck’s solo Batman movie. Filming was said to begin in the Spring of this year (2017), and the expectation was that THE BATMAN would hit theaters in the Summer of 2018.
But, for the last several weeks, I’ve been hearing that there was something up with Affleck’s solo Batman film, THE BATMAN.
On January 9th, I reported that THE BATMAN had been “pushed back.” I didn’t know the reason for sure, but I did some very, ahem, “educated” speculation. Here’s what I said…
So, why the delay? I really don’t know, but I’ll speculate…
• Perhaps the script really isn’t ready as Ben Affleck has been saying and the studio is giving director/screenwriter Affleck the proper amount of time to get it right.
• Maybe Ben doesn’t want to direct it, but will still write, produce and star in it. As a result, they need time to hire a new director.
• Or – and this would be the worst case scenario – perhaps Affleck knows that JUSTICE LEAGUE is going to suck (I'm hearing it's a mess -- I hope it's not!) and is ready to bail on the DCEU before he gets GIGLY’ed (again) by it.
Of course, I was accused by fanboys of “making stuff up” and posting “clickbait.” Proof? Well, Ben Affleck went on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE and “debunked” all this nonsense! Yessir, everything was “going good” with THE BATMAN and he was going to write, produce, direct, and star in it as planned by gosh!
How you like my “clickbait” and the “made up stuff” now?
I’ll be honest, I’m not happy to be right about this at all. Ben Affleck has been my #1 guy to direct a solo Batman film for a long time – even before Chris Nolan was done with THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY. I also was one of the few that wanted Mr. Affleck to play Batman as well. So yeah, I’m pretty darn bummed that he isn’t going to direct and, frankly, I’m not excited for THE BATMAN as I was before this news dropped. So when I say that I take no happiness in being right, know that I'm being sincere.
While the news of Mr. Affleck walking away from THE BATMAN as director sucks, having him walk away from the project entirely would suck even more. And honestly, I can’t say that the latter isn’t a real possibility.
Things are not going well for the DCEU. I’m not going to rehash it all, but if you look at everything objectively and NOT has a diehard DC Comics fan, there’s no way you can think all’s good and running smoothly. As I’ve said before, some folks can’t see the beach because of all the sand.
And really, ENOUGH with the “This is a good thing!” narrative, OK? Yes, THE BATMAN may turn out good – hell, even great – with Affleck not directing (and I hope like hell it is great). But right now, this is NOT good! One of the main assets and selling points of THE BATMAN was having Ben Affleck – an Academy Award-winning director – helm this movie. Clearly, there were issues with the project (possibly the script, which I’ve heard is not up to snuff) that caused him to abdicate the director’s chair. Losing a director of caliber of Ben Affleck is not a positive.
So, what’s going to happen with THE BATMAN? Again, I’ll speculate (but remember what I said about me “speculating”)…
1) Ben Affleck produces, writes and stars in THE BATMAN under the helm of a director that has the same vision for the film and character as he does. Bottom line: THE BATMAN gets made.
2) Ben Affleck plans to produce, write and star in THE BATMAN under the helm of a director that has the same vision for the film and character as he does. But, he waits to see how JUSTICE LEAGUE is received in November. Bottom line: He follows through with THE BATMAN if JUSTICE LEAGUE is a big success. If not, well, do the math.
3) Ben Affleck totally walks away from THE BATMAN. If this occurs, I think this particular Batman film project is likely done. However, I could see the studio recasting the part if Batman is needed in other DCEU films.
As of right now, I’m going to – again – take Mr. Affleck at his word and choose to believe that THE BATMAN will get made with him as writer (maybe), producer and star. However, this is based on hope more than anything else. Things can change very quickly – especially in the movie business. What’s said on JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE one day, may not be true the next.