With news earlier this week that Ben Affleck had signed on to play Batman in Warner Bros.’ (NYSE:TWX) sequel to Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder, the Internet immediately went into a frenzy. The uproar had reached a fever-pitch by Friday as Variety reported that multiple polls had sprouted on Change.com in an attempt to remove him from the project, with one poll currently having over 75,000 supporters. It’s likely Warner Bros. had no idea what they were getting themselves into.
However, many onlookers have been keen to point out that Heath Ledger found himself in a similar position when it was announced the late-actor would play the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Backlash was severe up until that film’s first trailer was released, stymieing some of the criticism until the film was finally released. And when The Dark Knight was finally released in the summer of 2008, well, the rest is history.
And now there’s even more recent news coming out of the industry regarding the future of the DC Comics franchise, which might reveal more about Warner Bros.’ decision to cast Affleck. Sources are telling the Hollywood Reporter that Affleck has been signed to a multi-year deal, assuming the franchise continues to see success, and THR further suggests that the deal makes it that much more possible for Affleck to direct and/or write a potential Justice League film down the line.
Affleck’s star-power saw a huge decline in the wake of failed big-budget films Paycheck, Surviving Christmas, and Daredevil. However, Affleck’s prestige has seen a huge surge once again on the backs of the films Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo – the first two he also wrote. Even before last year’s Argo won Best Picture at the Oscars, the studios have continued to be impressed with Affleck’s work and the opportunity to have him direct a potential Justice League film seems almost assured to be a huge factor in the recent choice to cast Affleck.
However, even if fans don’t cool to the idea of Affleck playing Batman, there’s at least one rumored casting choice that fans everywhere seem to agree with: Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston as Lex Luthor. If rumors flying around the Internet are to be believed, the role seems to be Cranston’s at this point with an official announcement theorized to be after the series finale of Breaking Bad.
Rumors indicate a potential six “appearance” movie deal at the very least, with some saying it could be as high as ten, which is being likened to the deal that Samuel Jackson has for Marvel and Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) The Avengers for his Nick Fury role. And by Monday, the rumors surrounding Cranston’s deal were being reported by several mainstream publications, including Rolling Stone.
If Cranston’s potential six appearance deal seems a little crazy to you, industry rumors are also whispering that Affleck’s deal could call for up to thirteen appearances. While the assumption is that many of those appearances are likely to be Marvel style cameos, it would confirm that Warner Bros. has grand plans for developing the DC Comics franchises in a way that mirrors Marvel’s The Avengers.
And as if all of these rumors weren’t enough, now there’s talk that Matt Damon is being considered for either Aquaman or the Martian Manhunter — which isn’t exactly a surprise given Affleck’s involvement, but should make for plenty of great Good Will Hunting jokes.
How do you feel about the casting of Ben Affleck and the potential casting of Bryan Cranston and Matt Damon?
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