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More Details on Ben Affleck in Snyder's Superman/Batman UPDATED

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by Anne Thompson
August 24, 2013 11:10 PM
38 Comments
  • |
Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck is Batman. You could have knocked me over with a feather. (He didn't even land on our Batman poll, which was won handily by Michael Fassbender.) I liked Affleck as Jack Ryan. But not so much as Daredevil. (To his credit he turned down the sequel.) He will take over from Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne in the next Zack Snyder Superman-Batman feature now slated to open on July 17, 2015, that Warner Bros. announced with great fanfare at Comic-Con. Returning to the next “Man of Steel” movie are Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

Snyder approached Affleck months ago, reports THR. Affleck would not take on this role unless he had some say in how this script turns out. He will have a strong hand at Warner Bros., which backed him on "The Town" and the Oscar-winning "Argo" and is invested in telling the town he's sticking around the studio. Affleck signed for multiple pictures. If this works out he'll have a major franchise to play with for years ahead. And a major studio where he can hang his hat, as his hero Clint Eastwood has done for decades.

Affleck tends to do better as an actor in his own pictures--which are often smarter than average studio fare. He shared a screenwriting Oscar with Matt Damon, after all, for "Good Will Hunting." The irony: Affleck turned down directing "Man of Steel." And did fine as George Reeves, TV's Superman, in little-seen "Hollywoodland." The LAT looks at which of his past roles prepared him for this one.

He can do this. Fans are reportedly 70% against this casting, but they opposed Michael Keaton and Robert Downey, Jr. initially, too, as Batman and Iron Man, respectively. Joss Whedon, the EW cover man and Marvel's "The Avengers" writer-director, gives trending #Batfleck a thumbs up. While Affleck is still on board to star in David Fincher's "Gone Girl" opposite Rosamund Pike ("The World's End"), he's letting go of the remake of Guillaume Canet's "Tell No One" (based on Harlen Coben's book) and his adaptation of Stephen King tome "The Stand." ("Crazy Heart" writer-director Scott Cooper is picking up the rewrite.) Affleck is hanging onto his plans to direct Dennis Lehane's "Live By Night" at Warners.

According to Warner Bros.:

"Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in 'Man of Steel.'"

Warners is banking that Snyder's rebooted original story “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, is the right way to go.  But now he and writer David S. Goyer will bring the two DC Comics icons together in a story they created together, in effect importing Batman into Superman's world. Where will Clark Kent work, Metropolis or Gotham? They are two very different places.  

“Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman," says Snyder. "He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne.  I can’t wait to work with him.”

Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers. Production is expected to begin in 2014.

38 Comments

  • Goldrunescape | August 26, 2013 3:18 AMReply

    Warners is banking that Snyder's rebooted original story “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date in fitrsgold.com

  • Goldrunescape | August 26, 2013 2:48 AMReply

    Warners is banking that Snyder's rebooted original story “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date in fitrsgold.com

  • Nick | August 25, 2013 8:31 PMReply

    Ummm nobody was against Downey, Jr. He was every fan's pick.

  • Bryan | August 28, 2013 12:36 PM

    Difference between Downey, Craig and Ledger with Affleck....hmm... well for starter none of them had peaked as an actor yet. With Ledger it was mainly the darker change in Joker as a character that made it awesome not just Ledger, but all those three were finally given a shot and succeeded, Affleck already had a chance and failed.

  • No no | August 28, 2013 1:15 AM

    Umm, he's righ there wasn't any real outrage over Downey. I remember there was complaints about ledger but Downey was born for that role through his own characteristics.

  • No | August 25, 2013 10:38 PM

    You're looking at it from a revisionist history. People were against Downey like how people were against Daniel Craig for Bond. Dare I mention Ledger?

  • Robb | August 25, 2013 1:34 PMReply

    As long as J-Lo isn't in it, I think he should do fine. People forget that he's been excellent in some very good movies.

  • Eric | August 25, 2013 1:22 PMReply

    So the guys who said that playing the part of the Daredevil was the worst acting choice he ever made and that only idiots would run around in Spandex in movies will now be co-scripting the script to and playing the part of the Batman

  • Betty | August 25, 2013 10:12 PM

    Thank you for pointing this out. If they proceed with this nonsense they will waste just about everyone's time and labor who is involved in the creation of this film.

  • horse | August 25, 2013 11:41 AMReply

    You sound so intelligent, that I want to learn everything you know.

  • Noel | August 25, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    Shit, he's not gonna do The Stand... On topic, I think he'll do a fine Batman and even better Bruce Wayne. Snyder is the one who's going to spoil this movie like he did with Man of Steel.

  • butt | August 25, 2013 1:52 PM

    totally agree.

  • LEM | August 25, 2013 9:56 AMReply

    I'd rather hear that he's bringing in Kevin Smith to help write the script. The guy an encyclopedic knowledge of Batman and could really help sway public opinion on this controversial casting.

  • alchemy | August 25, 2013 2:26 PM

    Kevin Smith is a terrible Batman's writer, trying to destroy everything good about it

  • Colin | August 25, 2013 1:02 PM

    What makes you think Kevin Smith has ANY influence on public opinion?

  • Drew | August 25, 2013 8:16 AMReply

    I loved Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, and I went crazy with excitement the day Bale was announced as Batman (I had been following news on the project for quite a while online). However, as much as I love Bale, I can't pretend his Batman work was award-worthy or really anything special. Dark Knight Rises, for example, was probably the least impressed I have been by Bale in a movie ever. Watching The Fighter and then watching Dark Knight Rises, it looks like Bale doesn't even want to be there as Batman anymore. So, it's not like he is impossible to replace.

    Regarding directors, Nolan is generally much better than Snyder, but in my opinion, Snyder has directed four movies that are better than Nolan's last Batman movie (three of which were based on comics), so I'm backing Snyder's ability to deliver a solid flick again.

  • Aswat | August 25, 2013 5:01 AMReply

    Ben Affleck as Batman? are u kidding. I don't think he will work out for batman. He truly is a great guy when it comes to Oscar award type movies but a superhero movie like this and specially when Batman vs Superman is Crucial to DC Cinematic Universe he is not the guy for the job. many people will agree to this. Chrstian Bale truly is the Batman. He should be approached by WB once again. People admire his acting on Batman.

  • Jamie | August 25, 2013 12:22 AMReply

    It's Rosamund PIKE. Not Pilcher. Lol

  • SeriouslyPOd | August 25, 2013 12:14 AMReply

    Congratulations Zack Snyder! You've just became the new Michael Bay.

  • mik | August 24, 2013 11:59 PMReply

    So wait a minute, are they saying that Nolan is NO LONGER involved? I thought that he was still supposed to be an executive producer but I don't see his name listed. So now he's not involved with this? Hmm? I don't know then. I know Affleck is good at writing and all of that but... well, I'll wait and see, but I'm not feeling good about this. I didn't particularly care for MOS that much and this seems a little desperate.

  • Anthony | August 25, 2013 10:59 AM

    Chris, your knowledge of film production is sorely lacking. EPs regularly have a lot of input on films, especially ones like this. They're given power and the title in exchange for either money, knowledge, or both.

  • Chris138 | August 25, 2013 1:04 AM

    Nolan and his wife are executive producers on this, which means they don't have any creative involvement and basically just throw some money toward the production. Hell, executive producers don't even go on set. I think it's pretty clear that Nolan is somewhat burned out with superhero movies after working all these years on Batman, and clearly has his interests in other projects. Can't say I blame him.

  • caro | August 24, 2013 11:35 PMReply

    I don't understand why Batman needs Affleck and why Affleck needs Batman.
    Batman is the most iconic superhero,Affleck just won an Oscar for Argo.
    He wants to be Batman for his ego? He wants to be more famous?why not just to direct,write and co-produce the next Batman movie?

  • Yeah | August 24, 2013 11:27 PMReply

    To the people who keep insisting this is gonna be a bomb, shut the fuck up. This movie is guaranteed to be a massive hit, good or not. I can't say the movie will be good, though unlike most of these damn internet troll/30-year-old basement dwellers, I've got something called optimism.

  • Juke Early | August 25, 2013 3:35 AM

    I'm on your side braj-no need to call names. Like the new Bat, I am a much older(than 30), wiser, basement (we prefer cave, as in ---) dweller. I've seen more flicks than any ten people who are on the net at any given moment. Watched all of Affleck's roles except Gigli( Yeah- even I'm not that desperate for flickering images.) AND the final result is always a crapshoot. IMO- this movie will crush. Only hope I'm alive to see it. Did I mention older? ;-)

  • john | August 25, 2013 12:25 AM

    yeah you got optimism now calm down man lol

  • Chris L. | August 24, 2013 11:22 PMReply

    Just please do not postpone Live by Night any further. That is all.

  • tyler4all | August 24, 2013 9:40 AMReply

    "He has the acting chops..." who are they kidding with this? hahahahaha...this is some of the worst casting news ever. Affleck is one of the blandest actors around. From Christian Bale to Affleck? haha....from Christopher Nolan to Zack Snyder? hahahaha...this is gonna be a huge bomb. Affleck doesnt have the darkness, the obsession, the madness to play Batman, period.

  • Juke Early | August 25, 2013 3:39 AM

    Bland? maybe so. Sometimes viewers need to watch facial expressions closely - this ain't Broadway. Bruce Wayne, is not exactly known for his emotional outbursts. The suit & action, strongly directed & lensed can provide the explosiveness of Batman.

  • JAB | August 23, 2013 5:40 PMReply

    I know a lot of the fans' knee jerk reaction to this casting is to compare it to Clooney's Batman. But Clooney's Bat lived in a far different universe then the one Affleck will be in.
    The bottom line with any movie is the script. Affleck has become a far more serious entertainer over the past decade. He had the proper gravitas in as an actor in "Argo". This guy can fill the cape. I don't why the Snyders, Roven & company would need Affleck's muscle for a good script that crew seems to have enough of their own. If they feel they're bringing him in in part for that then I'm all for it.
    Take a chill pill everyone. I'm looking forward to this movie.

  • Ramesh | August 24, 2013 2:36 AM

    I think youre missing the point . This is not about how ben affleck can compare to the previous bats. It's about these guys (the studios) choking on their own bile.

    in a world(to paraphrase a movie I know) where there was much metal and nitroglycerine junk, the sembelence of drama and dialog given some faux class in comicbook sheen might have looked like a good idea.

    but when every CGI/ Marvel/ metal and fire/vin diesel film is not making it to the grosses, no matter how much the film is made for, it's gonna make 80 million domestic and (an imaginary 350 million worldwide) so ...people doing the al capone accounting for this film? make your budget so.....

  • ag | August 23, 2013 2:33 PMReply

    good point re: the script and affleck's affect on same. ("the affleck affect"). if he can have something to do with getting a great script/story/character out of this it will be huge.

    if not, as i've said, we have to suffer through another affleck comeback

  • Ramesh | August 23, 2013 2:05 AMReply

    are they releasing this for thanksgiving?



    (cuz I smell a giant turkey) ;)

  • Cory | August 22, 2013 10:31 PMReply

    Affleck as batman ? I argue this great director , but the new batman i THINK not.. What are you thinking WB!!!!!!

  • tyler4all | August 24, 2013 9:42 AM

    Go Figure, I echo your sentiments. Affleck is wooden, stiff, nowhere near the thespian that Bale is. Why did Warner pick him? and yes, why did he agree to play a superhero? not everyone can do it. Henry Cavill is not a good actor and in Snyder's hands he is mediocre. I expect the same with Affleck. I expect garbage from this collaboration, hahaha

  • Go Figure | August 23, 2013 1:58 PM

    Martin Scorsese , David Fincher , Chris Nolan , & Michael Mann are examples of great directors - not Ben Affleck . Affleck is only decent , and he is one of the blandest and most stiff leading men in Hollywood ( his very wooden acting & lack of film presence took me out of every scene in Argo ) . Why would he do this project when he had to fight extremely hard to get out of movie hell with Gigli , Daredevil , Jersey Girl , & Surviving Christmas ? And, Ben only came out of this hell with Gone Baby Gone , The Town , & Argo . Why would he possibly put himself back into movie hell with a Batman role ? We are not talking Chris Nolan's Batman , but a Zach Snyder's Batman . Talk about selling out .

  • Cory | August 22, 2013 10:31 PMReply

    Affleck as batman ? I argue this great director , but the new batman i THINK not.. What are you thinking WB!!!!!!

  • shelly | August 22, 2013 10:00 PMReply

    They lost me at saying Affleck has the acting chops. I greatly prefer him as a director.

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