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

Ben Affleck Batman 600x324
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 well to an ambitious superhero movie. What I mean is that, especially with Argo and The Town, he’s crafted thrilling and entertaining pictures that are so well made that they manage to appeal to awards season voters. Gone Baby Gone was the first hint of that, but his last two outings have been crowd pleasers, if sometimes darker ones. That’s exactly what a new Batman film should be. It doesn’t have to be as bleak as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was (though Snyder is setting up the DC universe to be pretty serious so far), but Affleck will be a far cry from Joel Schumaker. That alone should be a positive for fans of the character. Affleck has a perfect record as a filmmaker so far, so in Ben I trust.

Over the next few years, Affleck can develop this to his heart’s content, either making a prequel of sorts that looks at how Batman previously dealt with The Joker before Suicide Squad/what hardened him so much before Superman came along, or just tell a tale of how he saves Gotham when not hanging out with the Justice League of America. You could have a Superman or Wonder Woman cameo, but you don’t need one. There are limitless possibilities and I’m sure Affleck is licking his lips at the chance he has here. He’s long been known as a comic book fan, so this could be a straight up dream come true for him. Worst case scenario…it will finally help folks to forget about his turn as Daredevil (which I don’t hate, by the way). This stand alone Batman film is something to really look forward to now that Affleck is officially making it his own. It’ll be a few years until we really get into the nitty gritty of production on it, but I’m excited to keep my ear to ground for whatever details on it come our way…

Stay tuned for much more on Affleck’s solo Batman movie!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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