Batman Ben Affleck

Well, that was quick.

With all of the nerdtastic news coming hard-and-fast out of this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, one tantalizing nugget seems to be that Batman fans may be receiving a new stand-alone Batman film sooner than they (and anyone else, for that matter) expected.

I first heard the rumors on Kevin Smith’s popular “Fatman on Batman” podcast last week, in which it was teased that Ben Affleck will reportedly star, direct and co-write the movie, entitled “The Batman” with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer and superstar writer, Geoff Johns.

Despite the immensely popular “Dark knight” trilogy by Christopher Nolan concluding only a few years ago, reports say that Affleck and Johns are almost done with their first pass of, “The Batman” script and are expected to turn it in to DC Comics parent company, Warner Bros, by the end of the summer.

Batman Armored Suit @ SDCC 2015
Batman Armored Suit @ SDCC 2015

Now, as a diehard Batman fan, I have not made any secret of the fact that Ben Affleck would not have been my preferred first choice to play my favorite Caped Crusader …however, I have been extremely encouraged by what I’ve seen coming out of the production for the much anticipated, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and will reserve judgement until I see “BatFleck” in action.

Truth be known, once I saw the obvious homage to Frank Miller’s seminal, “The Dark Knight Returns,” I felt more comfortable walking myself back from the proverbial ledge and taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to how the (legendary) material would be reflected on screen.

But a new Batman movie, so soon?

Sure, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Ben Affleck would be playing Batman within a Superman movie (an important distinction), and likely in a future Justice League film …but a standalone movie in which he is officially, “The New Batman?”

Is this just taking a play out of the Marvel handbook, to capitalize on individual character trilogies and standalone films, that will eventually converge into one massive “Avengers” style trilogy, but with the Justice League?

As a huge fan, I’ll take a new Batman movie whenever I can get it …but is there a risk of creating Batman-fatigue?


Don’t get me wrong. Affleck certainly looks the part physically, and despite what he did with Daredevil and other flops in the past, he is clearly a talented director and actor. Maybe a bit too “vanilla” for how I envision Batman, but not the worst choice, either.

I liken his selection to the same ‘selection by committee and focus group’ process that likely chose George Clooney to don the cowl. But I digress.

The fact that Johns is on-board and co-writing the script is a big plus in my book, and (yet again) pulls me back from the edge of the gargoyle and thinking, “Hold on. This could be good.

And, if I’m being completely honest with myself, the moment I see Affleck put on the suit for the first time, I’m going to be giddy as fuck because, Batman.

Final Thought: No More Batman Origin Stories, Please

I doubt that there is a person on this planet that does not know the origin of how Batman began.

Understandably, after the disaster that was 1997’s “Batman and Robin,” Nolan needed to completely re-boot the character with, “Batman Begins.”

But only 3 years after the last Batman film was released – and only a couple more before the next one will presumably come out – I think it’s safe to assume that we can finally jump right back into the cowl and start punching evildoers in their turkey necks. Agreed?

Feel free to share your thoughts on “The Batman” in the comment section!

    • Devan R James

      Perhaps I’m wrong but I see the failures of past superhero films as not being an actors fault necessarily, but a production teams misunderstanding or non-understanding of the material. Bringing someone like Johns on to essentially be the creative compass will be essential to an Affleck starring/directed/written film. With Johns he can mould a story to his artistic strengths and keep the Batman mythos at the same time. As to the Batman fatigue, you didn’t mention the appearance in the Suicide Squad movie, which will be out in summer 2016. That being said, I personally can’t see an issue with too much Batman. If anything, these co-star and guest appearances if they go over well, should make a solo title Batman movie enormously popular. Much in that Fox hung all of its hopes on Hugh Jackmans Wolverine and has had mixed reviews, and Marvel decided a grand universal approach was the ticket to success, DC is taking a tent pole approach and leaning heavily on its two most iconic (and arguably in all of comics) characters while weaving a tapestry of A-list and secondary characters to create a hybrid. Time will tell, but I see this as a winning combination, for studio and fan alike.

    • I totally agree that the movie will be popular and do very well, partly on the back, goodwill and popularity of the Nolan trilogy. The excitement of a new Batman movie (and the character) is still fresh in most people’s minds. As I said in the post, I can never have too much Batman. 🙂

      However…my fear is that if the movie isn’t very good or live up to expectations, that it might set the films, franchise and character back a few steps.

      Batman Begins (as a reboot / re-envisioning) was a huge surprise for most people because it shifted the tone so dramatically from the earlier films, and did what Miller’s, “Dark Knight Returns” did for the comics. Will Batfleck & Johns take be more of the same? Will it take it in a new direction? Time will tell.

      Either way, I’ll be the first in line. The original plan was to bring Batman back later, I think 2018, so that enough time had passed to wipe the Nolan slate clean. With Johns involved, my concerns are heavily abated, though.

    • Devan R James

      Generally speaking from a fan perspective, the teaming of both Superman and Batman together for the first time in a live action movie should draw great numbers at the box office. As for quality, like you I am increasingly optimistic with ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ being able to deliver on that front.

      The solo Batman movie was most likely moved up due to studio reconsideration of how Marvel’s universe is unfolding. It doesn’t make sense to do a couple A-list hero movies, then a stretch of B-list ones. You risk loosing ground to the momentum Marvel has built. Another reason a solo Batman movie might have been been accelerated into production might be the positive responses to Jared Leto’s Joker, and Margot Robbie’s Harley from set photos and social media pictures. Whether they appear in the solo Batman movie is of course at this point speculation.

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