Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood’s biggest and most diverse superstar

BEN AFFLECK at HFAs 600x377
As big a star as Ben Affleck is, I’m sure he gets the credit that he deserves. Not only is he an A-list Hollywood talent, he’s an acclaimed and award winning filmmaker. Affleck is part of superhero blockbusters, prestige fare, and everything in between. Throw in his charity work and you have a dynamic star. For a while, he was seen as a bit of a punching bag, but another Oscar and some very solid choices later, that decidedly is no longer the case. He’s rightfully taken his place as one of the industry’s biggest names. I just don’t think he’s always seen in that light, which is a shame.

Affleck is a two time Academy Award winner, taking home an Oscar early in his career for co-writing Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon, then winning one a few years ago for producing his latest directional outing Argo. Having the statues for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture certainly will go a long way towards making you a behind the scenes juggernaut. His directing is unimpeachable so far, with Argo joining the likes of the also award cited Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Later on this year, he’ll try to make it four for four when Live By Night hits theaters.

As of this year as well, he’s now also an even bigger blockbuster talent. He’d anchored big movies before, including the hybrid prestige fare that was Gone Girl, along with a number of huge flicks in years past, but this was different. He put on the cape and cowl to become the latest actor to play Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He also cameoed as the Caped Crusader in Suicide Squad, continuing to set up for his next turn in the mega blockbuster Justice League. After that, he’ll bring together his filmmaking and acting skills to write, direct, and star in his own solo Batman film. Affleck now will have a large say in one of the biggest pop culture characters in history.

Argo-Affleck-Ensembles600
Here is how I would would rank Affleck’s best performances to date:

1. Chasing Amy
2. The Town
3. Good Will Hunting
4. Gone Girl
5. Argo
6. Hollywoodland
7. Boiler Room
8. Shakespeare in Love
9. The Company Men
10. Jersey Girl

Honorable Mention: Bounce, Dazed and Confused, Dogma, Man About Town, and State of Play

Ben-Affleck-directing-THE-TOWN

Once again, here also is how I’d rank Affleck’s directorial efforts so far:

1. Argo
2. The Town
3. Gone Baby Gone

Going forward, we’ll see Affleck in The Accountant later on this week (sit tight for my take on it/a follow up piece on him in a few days), along with the aforementioned Live By Night in December. After that, it’ll be full steam ahead for Justice League next year, along with its sequel two years after that, followed by his solo Batman outing. In between, he’s signed up for a remake of Witness for the Prosecution, and will likely add a project or two in between. He’s only becoming a bigger star, so whether he wants to act, direct, or both, he’ll have his pick of the litter.

When you get right down to it, Affleck is just a mega A-lister who happens to be doing way more diverse work than many people realize. Even within Hollywood, he doesn’t quite get the credit that he deserves. He’s always been underrated, whether it’s been working with Kevin Smith, his initial foray behind the camera, or his recent turn as the Dark Knight. Winning Best Picture for Argo signaled his initial comeback was complete, but Affleck is building himself up in a much bigger way. It’s exciting to watch and I hope it continues on for a long time. He deserves this success…

Stay tuned to see how Affleck’s star continues to grow in the years to come!

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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