July 02, 2016

Tag Archives: Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck’s new directorial project “Live by Night” might be jumping into 2016

Well, it’s just speculation right now, but this is potentially some very exciting news. Word trickled down over the weekend that Warner Brothers has moved the release date of Ben Affleck’s next project behind the camera, the crime epic Live by Night. Originally, we were scheduled to get it in October of this year, before it was delayed a year to October of 2017, partly to accommodate Affleck becoming Batman. Now, we’ve gotten notice that the WB has it opening in early January of 2017, which is right where American Sniper hit a few years back. As such, it’s almost a foregone conclusion now that it’ll get a qualifying run in December and be a part of the 2016 awards season. Make room folks, as a huge new contender could be joining the early stages of the race, potentially as the last player we’ll get this year.
This film is an adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel of the same name, the second time that Affleck has gone to Lehane for inspiration. It is set during the era of Prohibition and follows Joe (Affleck), the son of a cop who begins rising through the ranks of organized crime. Things will take place in Miami, Cuba, and elsewhere, as this is a generational and large scale tale. It seems incredibly ambitious too, with Affleck writing, directing, and starring. He’s got an interesting cast here too, including Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Saldana, Sienna Miller, Scott Eastwood, Chris Messina, Chris Cooper, Titus Welliver, Anthony Michael Hall, and more. Big time DP Robert Richardson is the cinematographer, while William Goldenberg edits and Harry Gregson-Williams handles the score. All the ingredients are here for something special.

Assuming it does hit in 2016, this movie does appear to be a big deal. First off, Affleck has gotten better and better with each outing, and his debut was something special to begin with. Gone Baby Gone was great, The Town was a step up in every way, and Argo deservedly won the Oscar for Best Picture. Live by Night could be a huge juggernaut, if the trend continues. My guess is that it likely won’t be quite that amazing, but the potential is there. At the very least, it sounds like something that Affleck knows how to do well and it should play well to Academy members. I’m certainly very excited for it, if nothing else.
Awards wise, it’s […]

“Suicide Squad” shows off another impressive Trailer

2016 is shaping up to be a very interesting year for the comic book/superhero genre. On the one hand, we’ve already seen Deadpool set some box office records and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice open to a ton of discussion and mixed reception, with Captain America: Civil War headed our way next month on the back of some early rave reviews. For many though, the one to be most intrigued by and anticipate is Suicide Squad, a villain centric spinoff from what DC and Warner Brothers is doing with their Cinematic Universe. The first few Trailers have been great, and just this week another new one came down the pike, showing off some very fun looks at the film. You can see that Trailer below, of course, but first…let’s discuss!
Again, for those who have never heard of Suicide Squad, it’s of course a comic book adaptation, surrounding a government agency that recruits currently imprisoned supervillains to participate in black ops missions in exchange for clemency on their sentences. David Ayer writes and directs, while the cast includes Jared Leto as Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne as Enchantress, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adam Beach as Slipknot, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, along with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, plus Common, Scott Eastwood, and David Harbour in other roles, as well as cameos from Ben Affleck as Batman and potentially Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, with others possibly showing up too. It takes place in the same universe that DC/WB is creating to lead up to a Justice League film, highlighted by the recent Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as Affleck’s stand alone Batman movie. It’s got a solid filmmaker and a very strong cast in place, plus cinematography from Roman Vasyanov and a score from Steven Price, so there’s plenty here to work with on all ends, I must say.
This new Trailer aims for a bit of a lighter tone than previously, while still showcasing a real grittiness that should encompass the project. Of particular note is Leto’s Joker and Robbie’s Harley Quinn, though Davis’ Amanda Waller has potential as well to be a memorable character. Factor in how strong a filmmaker Ayer is a director and writer who shoots for the moon each […]

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” has a record setting box office haul

Over the holiday weekend, audiences turned out in droves for the long awaited matchup/team-up on film between The Dark Knight and the Man of Steel. Yes, the last few days saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice make a ton of money at the box office, so much so that it’s set a few records, specifically for releases during the month of March. I’ll get into just what the numbers were below and how they stack up, record wise, but just know that the poor reviews and less than universally praised word of mouth did nothing to harm these titans. The Caped Crusader and the Son of Krypton managed to make this movie into an absolute event, even though it’s still early on in the year. That’s worthy of some legitimate praise, regardless of anything else.

Quickly, a primer, in case you’re still unaware somehow what this juggernaut is. The film is both a sequel to Man of Steel, a prequel to the impending Justice League movies, and also a re-introduction to Batman. The movie actually picks up where Man of Steel left off (and during, essentially, with Bruce Wayne witnessing the battle with Zod as it destroys a city), with the citizens of Metropolis/the world debating the merits of Superman (Henry Cavill) being a god among men. This escalates in the wake of another incident involving Superman that results in loss of life. This captures the attention of Batman (Ben Affleck) over in Gotham City, who has been fighting crime there for years. He begins plotting to take down the alien, and after a time they cross paths, with some fighting to ensue before they get on the same page to overcome Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Luther has been manipulating them the whole time, so their team up is necessary, along with a certain other hero, to take down what we see eventually is his creation of Doomsday. Man of Steel’s Zack Snyder returns to direct, with David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio co-writing the script here. The cast, aside from the aforementioned Affleck, Cavill, and Eisenberg includes Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Harry Lennix, Scoot McNairy, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Michael Shannon (sort of), and many more (remember, Jena Malone was cut from the flick). For those wondering, the score is done by the team of Junkie XL […]

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” explodes on to screens

It’s finally happened. After years of false starts, Batman and Superman finally share the screen. Last night, I saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and I can report that it is far from a disaster, as some have tried to put out there. Honestly, it’s a flawed yet very interesting film, one that is as ambitious as any superhero flick to date, but one that can only sometimes reach the goals it sets out for itself. I liked the movie more than I didn’t, so I’m one of the defenders, I suppose, though I definitely see the criticisms put forth by my colleagues. It’s certainly worth seeing, but it’s a film that won’t be evolving the comic book genre anytime soon. It comes out this weekend, so with the embargo having been lifted, let us now discuss Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a bit.
The film is both a sequel to Man of Steel, a prequel to the impending Justice League movies, and also a re-introduction to Batman. The movie actually picks up where Man of Steel left off (and during, essentially, with Bruce Wayne witnessing the battle with Zod as it destroys a city), with the citizens of Metropolis/the world debating the merits of Superman (Henry Cavill) being a god among men. This escalates in the wake of another incident involving Superman that results in loss of life. This captures the attention of Batman (Ben Affleck) over in Gotham City, who has been fighting crime there for years. He begins plotting to take down the alien, and after a time they cross paths, with some fighting to ensue before they get on the same page to overcome Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Luther has been manipulating them the whole time, so their team up is necessary, along with a certain other hero, to take down what we see eventually is his creation of Doomsday. Man of Steel’s Zack Snyder returns to direct, with David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio co-writing the script here. The cast, aside from the aforementioned Affleck, Cavill, and Eisenberg includes Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Harry Lennix, Scoot McNairy, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Michael Shannon (sort of), and many more (remember, Jena Malone was cut from the flick). For those wondering, the score is done by the team of Junkie XL as well as […]

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” gets an intense new Trailer

Late last night, a big new Trailer was dropped for next year’s giant superhero spectacle Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. We’re only about three months out from this blockbuster, so it makes sense that Warner Brothers is really beginning to push it on us. Once we hit January, I suspect that the marketing blitz will be huge, but yesterday their third Trailer was unveiled, and for my money this is the best one yet. We all know that we’re going to be getting an epic showdown between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, but this showcases a whole lot more. You’ll see the Trailer below, but I also want to set the stage for the film a bit as well, so that’s what I’ll be doing right now.

I’m sure that this is no surprise to any of you still, but this film is going to set up a Justice League team up for the Warner Brothers/DC slate of heroes in the near future. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice picks up where Man of Steel left off, with the citizens of Metropolis debating the merits of Superman (Henry Cavill) being a god among men. This captures the attention of Batman (Ben Affleck) over in Gotham City, and they cross paths, with much fighting to ensue before they get on the same page to overcome Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) and what we now see is his creation of Doomsday. Man of Steel’s Zack Snyder returns to direct, with David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio co-writing the script. The cast, aside from the aforementioned Affleck, Cavill, and Eisenberg includes Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Harry Lennix, Jena Malone, Scoot McNairy, Jason Momoa, Michael Shannon (sort of), and many more. For those wondering, the score is done by the team of Junkie XL as well as the great Hans Zimmer.
What we’re seeing here is that the movie is going to be a huge action flick, in addition to a gritty battle of heroes. The three minute Trailer gives you a bit more of the fight scenes, a set up involving Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne meeting, how Luther is involved in it all, and finally, what leads to Wonder Woman arriving, which is also what brings Batman and Superman together. That’s actually the Superman villain Doomsday, who is one […]

Ben Affleck is the perfect choice to direct a new “Batman” film

Late last week, word came around during San Diego Comic-Con that finally confirmed something that I’d basically been assuming for a year or so. Ben Affleck would be getting his own Batman film, but he’s also going to be co-writing and directing that stand alone project. I’ve long been a fan of Affleck’s, going back to his early days working with Kevin Smith, so I always keep an eye out for what he’s up to next. Ever since he’s starting directing, it’s been exciting to watch his career arc, with his upcoming role as Bruce Wayne/Batman another interesting turn. The fact that it’ll be his filmmaking style essaying a new caped crusader adventure just makes it something to really look forward to. Affleck is the perfect choice for this project.
Affleck’s take on the Bat (possibly called The Batman) will be done after he suits up at least three times for other filmmakers. Two will hit screens next year, first in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad later that summer. There’s also Synder’s Justice League Part One, which will come in 2017, before this solo project (though Justice League Part Two could be after). This gives him time to settle into the character, develop a screenplay that fits into the Universe that’s being built, and work with co-writer Geoff Johns to make this a Batman outing that stands out from the ones that have come before it.
As an added bonus, this long lead in to the Batman film (rumors have it coming around 2019) allows Affleck to finally get to make Live By Night, a project that he’s been looking to do since Argo. It’s a period crime drama, which should suit him perfectly. It could actually come about that he’s knee deep in the Oscar race with this movie and then moves over to put on the tights and shoot Batman. It would be an intense 180, but getting to direct a prestige flick and then getting to direct a comic book one could be like recess for him. Affleck would get to let loose and play, potentially making for a different film than he usually writes/directs. I’m sure that’s one reason he opted to sign up for this endeavor.
What makes him such a perfect choice for this project is that his filmmaking style lends itself so […]

“Suicide Squad” is shaping up to be one of the most interesting upcoming superhero movies

At the very tail end of the weekend, filmmaker David Ayer unveiled his first look at most of the costumed cast of Suicide Squad, his DC superhero/anti-hero/villain movie that’s scheduled to follow Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice next year. This comes on the heels of Ayer also officially showing off Jared Leto as The Joker recently, making for an unusual amount of promotional material for a film coming second in line during 2016. At the same time though, it suggests something pretty different for DC and Warner Brothers, perhaps even in a way becoming their version of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Not in tone, of course, but in terms of being a possibly top tier outing due to a different feel from the rest of the pack. Having a recent Academy Award winner for Best Supporting Actor in the cast playing an iconic part won’t hurt either.
For those who have never hard of Suicide Squad, it’s a comic book adaptation, obviously, surrounding a government agency that recruits currently imprisoned supervillains to participate in black ops missions in exchange for clemency on their sentences. Ayer writes and directs, while the cast includes Jared Leto as Joker, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Care Delevingne as Enchantress, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adam Beach as Slipknot, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, along with Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, plus Common, Scott Eastwood, and Karen Fukuhara in unnamed roles, as well as cameos from Ben Affleck as Batman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, among potentially others. It takes place in the same universe that DC/WB is creating to lead up to a Justice League film, as well as possibly a stand alone Batman movie. It’s got a solid filmmaker and a very strong cast in place, so there’s plenty here to work with on all ends, I must say.
Obviously one of the big things here is getting to see a new interpretation of the clown prince of crime, this time portrayed by Leto. The first look at him suggested a very aggressive and dark new take, separated him in a big way from Jack Nicholson in Tim Burton’s Batman for sure, but also Heath Ledger in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight as well. Leto has emerged as a real exciting actor after his Oscar winning turn […]

Ben Affleck responds…

Ben Affleck responds to the controversy of the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” on his Facebook page
“After an exhaustive search of my ancestry for “Finding Your Roots,” it was discovered that one of my distant relatives was an owner of slaves,” Affleck writes.
“I didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves. I was embarrassed. The very thought left a bad taste in my mouth.
Skip decided what went into the show. I lobbied him the same way I lobby directors about what takes of mine I think they should use. This is the collaborative creative process. Skip agreed with me on the slave owner but made other choices I disagreed with. In the end, it’s his show and I knew that going in. I’m proud to be his friend and proud to have participated.

It’s important to remember that this isn’t a news program. Finding Your Roots is a show where you voluntarily provide a great deal of information about your family, making you quite vulnerable. The assumption is that they will never be dishonest but they will respect your willingness to participate and not look to include things you think would embarrass your family.
I regret my initial thoughts that the issue of slavery not be included in the story. We deserve neither credit nor blame for our ancestors and the degree of interest in this story suggests that we are, as a nation, still grappling with the terrible legacy of slavery. It is an examination well worth continuing. I am glad that my story, however indirectly, will contribute to that discussion. While I don’t like that the guy is an ancestor, I am happy that aspect of our country’s history is being talked about.”
Ben Affleck

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” shows off an epic Teaser Trailer

Hot on the heels of the new Star Wars movie flexing its muscles last week (as well as a hot new Trailer for Jurassic World earlier today), the sequel to Man of Steel also has sought to do the same. Yes, we got our first Teaser Trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice recently and at least to this humble writer, it was more than worth the wait. Besides showing off Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, we also got to see him in costume (and hear him) as the Caped Crusader himself. His upcoming clash next year with Henry Cavill’s son of Krypton looks like a true event movie.
This is no surprise to any of you, but this film is going to set up a Justice League team up for the Warner Brothers/DC slate of heroes. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice picks up where Man of Steel left off, with the citizens of Metropolis debating the merits of Superman being a god among men. This captures the attention of Batman over in Gotham City, and they cross paths, with much fighting to ensue before they get on the same page to presumably overcome Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. Man of Steel’s Zack Snyder returns to direct, with David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio co-writing. The cast, aside from the aforementioned Affleck, Cavill, and Eisenberg includes Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Fisher, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Harry Lennix, Jena Malone, Scoot McNairy, Jason Momoa, and more.
In this Teaser, which you can see below, the big highlight is of course getting to see Batman and Superman on the screen at the same time. For many comic book fans, that’s a big screen concept that many thought would never happen. In fact, it seemed even less likely once the initial Justice League of America movie from almost a decade ago fell apart. In the wake of The Avengers though, obviously the WB was keen to get this idea moving again. Now, we have it, with Affleck playing an older and grizzled Dark Knight driven protect the human race from the danger he sees in Superman’s actions. The Teaser mainly consists of audio, but when we see the new Batsuit and Batmobile, it’s pretty cool, I must say.
A fringe benefit of sorts with this film is going to be seeing the Justice League of America come together. Besides […]

Kevin Smith: “Mallrats 2” represents the rare 90’s movie reunion

As a pretty big fan of filmmaker Kevin Smith, I tend to be inclined to support whatever project he’s interested in making, be it a new movie, a new podcast, or anything in between. Even so, I was initially a bit confused as to why Smith was looking to follow up Clerks III (which I’m hugely looking forward to) and his next two Canadian set genre outings (this year’s Yoga Hosers and the still to be shot Moose Jaws) with a sequel to Mallards. Yes, it’s developed over the years from a box office disappointment to one of his most beloved titles, but was anyone yearning for Mallrats 2? Then, I listened to Smith explain why and now, not just am I on board, I think it has the potential to be the rare 90’s movie reunion that really works.
The reason that Smith decided to make Mallrats 2 was to honor his friend and Mallrats producer Jim Jacks, who passed away about a year ago. As a way of honoring Jacks, a man who had once upon a time championed a potential sequel, Smith recently decided to make it a reality. As much as this could be just another one of those interesting announcements that go nowhere, that hasn’t been the case. Over the past few weeks, Smith has been on social media slowly teasing all of the former cast members who are coming back to the mall, as it were. That’s pretty impressive, regardless of the cast. For those who don’t remember, Mallrats starred Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Shannen Doherty, Claire Forlani, Ethan Suplee, Michael Rooker, Renee Humphrey, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Mewes, Ben Affleck, as well as Stan Lee in a cameo and of course Smith himself as Silent Bob. Right now, only Adams, Affleck, and Forlani have yet to sign on.
Sequels tend to be inherently unnecessary, but there’s something about this one that feels like it could be a ton of fun, especially when you consider what a lovely place this idea is coming from. Honoring a fallen colleague and pushing his own early whimsy is a winning formula in my book. Smith has already said that he’s got three more cast members to rope back in, so while that could mean Adams, Affleck, and Forlani are up next, there’s probably someone else who’s the final name, with Affleck just an added bonus if he has time […]

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