Ben Affleck Directing a Solo Batman Film: Can He Pull it Off?
Ben Affleck is about to go behind the cameras for the Batman franchise. In addition to starring in Warner Bros.’ Batman v. Superman next year, the actor is reportedly set to direct a solo film centered on the caped crusader.
Rumors that Affleck would eventually helm, as well as star in, a standalone Batman film have been circulating pretty much since the actor was first cast in the iconic role. The actor reportedly even made it a condition of his contract when he initially signed on to portray Bruce Wayne back in 2013. Now, it seems the directing gig is finally official, with a formal announcement expected to hit Comic Con this weekend.
Per Deadline, Affleck will co-write the solo film, in addition to starring and helming the project. Unlike previous reports that declared that Affleck’s solo Batman movie would be written by Chris Terrio (Argo, Batman v Superman) , Deadline reports that the actor is reportedly teaming up with Geoff Jones to pen the script.
Jones has a long history in the comic book world. He currently serves as DC Comics’ chief creative officer and has written for some of its most popular comic book series including Green Lantern, Aquaman, Justice League, The Flash and Superman. He also notably penned the Batman: Earth One graphic novels, which retell Batman’s origin and earlier years in a modern day setting. In addition to working in print, Jones has helped translate various DC comics to screen, writing for shows like Smallville, Arrow, The Flash and the upcoming Supergirl series.
As Deadline reports, Affleck and Johns have hit their stride very quickly and have already written a significant chunk of the project.If they keep up the pace, it’s possible that the two may be ready to turn in a completed script within the next couple of months.
Though the script may be in by the end of the summer, Affleck won’t be able to dive into the Batman solo project right away. In November, he’ll begin directorial work on the crime drama, Live by Night. With that movie set to come out in December 2016 and Warner Bros.’ Justice League Part 1 scheduled to premiere in 2017, it’s likely the standalone Batman film won’t hit theaters until 2019.
So the question is, can Affleck pull off helming such a big-scale blockbuster? So far, his directorial efforts have earned nothing but high critical praise. His first feature length film, 2007’s Gone Baby Gone, earned Affleck the National Board Review award for Best Directorial Debut. He followed that up with 2010’s The Town, which also earned an overwhelmingly positive response, and 2012’s political thriller, Argo, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Still, he’s never taken on a film of this size – something Affleck himself acknowledged to Entertainment Weekly. “I thought if I was going to direct a movie like this, which I would like to do at some point, I need to have something of a refresher course of how these movies are done,” he said, explaining part of his reasoning for taking on the role of Batman
Whether the solo film will earn as much acclaim as Affleck’s past directorial efforts remains to be seen. He’ll certainly have his work cut out for him, given the level of quality following Christopher Nolan’s superior and iconic Dark Knight trilogy. Still, with help from a comic vet like Jones and Affleck’s superior track record behind the camera, the project certainly seems off to a strong start.
In the meantime, Affleck will make his debut as the caped crusader in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, scheduled for March 25, 2016.