Oscar-winning producer Ben Affleck (Argo, 2013) squashed rumors that he would be directing a new Batman movie in the DC universe under the helm of James Gunn. Affleck, who donned the Dark Knight’s suit for a few turns, had been named as a leading contender to take a turn behind the camera as DC reinvented its comic book adaptations.
Gunn and Affleck had held meetings, with the latter appearing ready to direct a reboot tentatively titled The Brave and the Bold, but has since changed his tune. He said working on the critical failure of Justice League left a “monstrous taste” in his mouth about the entire superhero film genre.
“You could teach a seminar on all the reasons why this is how not to do it,” Affleck said of making Justice League in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Ranging from production to bad decisions to horrible personal tragedy, and just ending with the most monstrous taste in my mouth. The genius, and the silver lining, is that Zack Snyder eventually went to AT&T and was like, ‘Look, I can get you four hours of content.’”
Affleck was referencing the much-anticipated “Snyder Cut” that eluded fans after the studio slashed the run time and made serious edits to the original director’s version. The theatrical release was widely panned and seen as a monumental failure in its effort to compete against the Marvel franchise.
Eventually, HBO released the extended and original version. Affleck said some of the extra “content” was a lot of slow motion filmed in black-and-white, and that some of the shots included work produced in the director’s own backyard.
“He was like, ‘Do you want to come shoot in my backyard?’ I was like, ‘I think there are unions, Zack. I think we have to make a deal.’ But I went and did it. And now [Zack Snyder’s Justice League] is my highest-rated movie on IMDb,” Affleck recounted.
“Retroactively, it’s a hit. All of a sudden I was getting congratulated for the bomb I’m in,” Affleck continued, adding that the entire process of filming Justice League cemented his decision to not come back to the superhero genre. “[It] made me go, ‘I’m out. I never want to do any of this again. I’m not suited.’ That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some sh***y experiences. It broke my heart.”
Part of the disinterest came from the reality that most superhero films are simply the result of computer effects. Much of the shooting takes place in front of a green screen and limits the real interactions among actors. Affleck added: “You want to go to work and find something interesting to hang onto, rather than just wearing a rubber suit, and most of it you’re just standing against the computer screen going, ‘If this nuclear waste gets loose, we’ll …’”
Affleck was again confronted with the direct question of whether or not he would direct an upcoming DC film. “I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not,” he said. “I have nothing against James Gunn. Nice guy, sure he’s going to do a great job. I just wouldn’t want to go in and direct in the way they’re doing that. I’m not interested in that.”
HypeBeast previously wrote that Gunn, DC Studios, and Affleck had worked out a tentative arrangement to get him behind the camera for a new Batman release, saying:
At the end of January, DC Studios heads James Gunn and Peter Safranshared their plans for the DC Extended Universe, including plans for a Batman and Robin film. Titled The Brave and the Bold, rumors are now noting that Ben Affleck is now in talks to direct the film.
The rumors build on Gunn’s previous notes about involving the former Batman in directing future movies for the DCEU. Although discussions are reportedly in the works, no official word has surfaced regarding the development of the projects.
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