Ben Affleck is Batman.
If you’re a fan of the Dark Knight, comic books, movies, superheroes, or entertainment in general, it’s all any one is talking about.
As a huge Batfan, I was kind of devastated at first at the news.
Like many others, immediate thoughts of Affleck’s portrayal of 2003’s “Daredevil” came to mind. The film about a blind lawyer fighting crime wasn’t a box-office bomb, and it wasn’t the worst film ever made, but, by no means is it a movie people are still talking about to this day.
At first, I figured, ok, maybe Affleck will play some other version of Batman — there have been a few others from Bruce Wayne to take over the bat mantle.
But “Man of Steel” director Zack Snyder crushed all hopes of that in the Warner Bros. press release when he specifically referred to Affleck as Wayne.
“He [Affleck] 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.”
This shouldn’t be much of a surprise. We discussed how Christian Bale wasn’t coming back. Even rumour’s of potential deals to secure the return of Batbale for absurd amounts seemed too good to be true.
I really wanted to be mad at the decision. After stomaching George Clooney as Batman and odd nippled leather suits, Batfans finally had the envisionment of the hero we deserved. The new dynamic duo was not Batman and Robin, but Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan (plus David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan).
After all, Disney and Marvel didn’t recast Iron Man after Robert Downey Jr.’s contract as Tony Stark was up. They knew he was a solid source of income for Disney. “Avengers” and “Iron Man 3” have brought in totals of $US1.5 billion and $US1.2 billion respectively.
Don’t fix what’s not broken. It’s a simple formula.
As a business decision, this is a no brainer. Clearly, there must have been some underlying reason why they would go in such a different direction.
After trying to figure out why in the world Warner Bros. would possibly go with Affleck as the next incarnation of the Caped Crusader, it kind of makes sense.
1. Warner Bros. lost its big money maker Legendary Pictures which helped put out the “Dark Knight” trilogy.
Two of Warner Bros. big money makers (other than the “Lord of the Rings” franchise which will end after 2014) are its deals with Legendary Pictures and a certain actor, director by the name of Ben Affleck.
Over the past eight years, Legendary Pictures has delivered a list of successful films including the Batman trilogy, “300,” “The Hangover” series, “42,” and “Inception,” four of which were Christopher Nolan films.
Since 2010, Ben Affleck has brought “The Town” (also Legendary) and Oscar winner “Argo” to screen for WB.
Earlier this summer, Warner Bros. lost its huge distributor partner Legendary Pictures to Universal Pictures.
A lot of faith was put into “Dark Knight” trilogy director Christopher Nolan to see Warner Bros. all the way through to its anticipated “Justice League” film.
Since Legendary has parted ways with Warner Bros., it’s not impossible, but unlikely Christopher Nolan will carry on with the Justice League film. Zack Snyder is clearly at the helm now with writer David S. Goyer, and Goyer has always been the heart driving the stories behind these films.
2. Legendary then wiped its hands clean of the Batman / Superman movie.
Since the split, Legendary and WB have been dividing up its future films.
While movies “Pacific Rim” and “Godzilla” will be staying with Warner Bros, “Seventh Son” starring Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore will be heading to Universal.
The most interesting tidbit from the divorce is that Legendary gave up its “Man of Steel” sequel in order to keep its name on Christopher Nolan’s upcoming “Interstellar” project.
It appears that “Interstellar” is more important to Legendary than a Batman / Superman film, maybe we should all be worried because the company wasn’t happy with the direction of the film.
3. With Legendary (and probably Nolan) out of the picture, WB fell back on talent that has worked for the company.
Instead, Warner Bros. turned to someone it has a really good working relationship and track record with. That happens to be “Argo” director Affleck.
Affleck’s been previously attached to Batman. His name was also rumoured to originally direct the “Justice League” film as early as last year.
Can this Batfan support Affleck as Batman, Batfleck if you will? His track record (“Gigli” aside naturally) has him with two Oscars.
However, grabbing Affleck seems like a safe bet for Warner Bros. as opposed to taking a risk with other actors as the Caped Crusder.