I want to preface this by saying that this video isn’t me bashing or hating against DC, more of me offering my sincerest thoughts and opinions regarding our attitudes towards the topic.
It’s common knowledge now that actor/director Ben Affleck will be not only starring, but also stepping behind the camera for a standalone Batman movie, following on from last year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and this year’s Justice League. Affleck is considered by many to be one of the most underrated and exciting new directors in Hollywood, with each of his initial directorial features, Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo all receiving heavy critical praise, with Argo in particular winning the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2012, with Affleck himself winning the award for Best Director by the Directors Guild of America.
And regardless of the overall reception towards Batman V Superman’s rather underwhelming story, it appears to be the majority opinion that Affleck portrayed a faithful and exciting take on the Batman character, and one in need of his own-standalone film, possibly exploring his lore, and specifically, the death of Robin. And it appears that a standalone Batman adventure tentatively titled ‘The Batman’ has been green-lit and fast tracked to pre-production, with Affleck co-writing the script with DC Comics President and Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns. However, many seem to believe that Affleck’s position with the Batman film could possibly be in jeopardy, and many outlets have ran with stories the past month, speculating whether Affleck could indeed leave the project.
Will Ben Affleck leave The Batman? No.
I think, in some form, we’re all guilty of this, but it seems like both the fans and the media are somewhat impatient and over-concerned about Affleck’s future in the cape and cowl. The main quote being thrown around, from an interview with The Guardian from New Year’s Day, where the actor stated “it’s not a set thing and there’s no script. If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great I’m not going to do it.”
But it’s important to mention several things, before we start heading for the hills and praying, Affleck, in an interview with Variety only months prior, Affleck discussed the process, stating that “We’re on the right track with that and everything is coming together. We’re still finishing up a script. I’m very excited.” Even more recently, Affleck appeared on Jimmy Kimmel and responded to the headlines and speculations of fans, concerned about his future in the DC Extended Universe, stating
“I’m gonna direct the next Batman, we’re working on it. It’s one of those things that’s really frustrating because with Live By Night it took me a year and a half to write it and get it ready and I worked really hard. It’s just no one gave a shit. No one was like, “Where’s Live By Night?!” But with Batman I keep getting the, “WHERE’S THE FUCKING BATMAN?” I’m like, “Whoa, I’m working! Give me a second!””
I think a lot can be deciphered from Affleck’s comments on the status of the film, we know Affleck has a lot to do in order to make this film, as lead actor, director, co-writer and producer, and all doing this alongside the finishing and releasing of his latest feature, Live By Night. Affleck, in the Jimmy Kimmel interview mentioned prior, relates this, arguing that Batman is priority, but that he’s been busy with his existing projects, attempting to make Live By Night the best it could be, and promoting that movie, before turning his undivided attention to Batman.
Affleck stated himself that he doesn’t want to make “a mediocre version of Batman”, and to make Batman the best it could be, it’ll take time. It’s likely that Affleck and Johns didn’t start working on the script until after Batman v Superman was released, and screenwriting doesn’t come quick. Affleck stated that Live By Night took “a year and a half to write”, and looking at arguably the most popular Batman film, Christopher Nolan’s 2008 ‘The Dark Knight’ began initial production in July 2006, a whole 2 Years before the film was released, giving plenty of time for Nolan, his brother Jonathan, and David S. Goyer to craft the narrative that they felt was perfect for their story, and their Batman.
Making any movie takes a considerable amount of time, and this is no exception. Affleck already has a lot of pressure on him, with DC likely relying on this project to be “the one”, after their failure to win over mass audiences and critics so far, and Affleck, in order to deliver on those expectations, needs however much time he requires to get it right. There’s no point in pressuring him, by acting as if one comment that boils down to him stating “I’m still working on it”, is the end of the world, or the end of him as Batman. Rest assured, The Batman is coming, whenever Affleck feels that the movie is ready to be made in a way that will live up to everybody’s high expectations.