Reaction to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been rather negative from film critics and superhero movie fans. (The movie currently has a 29 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) But one aspect of the movie that people seemed to enjoy was Ben Affleck’s version of Batman.
So it’s no surprise that we’ll likely be seeing plenty more of him in the cowl and cape. Affleck will certainly play Batman in Warner Brothers’ upcoming Justice League franchise (and figures to have a large role, given what happens in BvS.) But after he was cast in the role, the presumption was that he would eventually star in a new solo Batman film. And given his success as a writer and director (helming 2013 Best Picture winner Argo), the chances that he would apply those skills to the Caped Crusader were pretty high.
We’re now apparently a step closer to an Affleck Batman movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Affleck has completed work on a script for a new Batman film, though there’s no word on where the development of that project currently stands. No Batman movie has been announced on Warner Bros.’ current slate of DC Comics films, though Affleck is contracted to appear in two Justice League movies and has a cameo appearance in the upcoming Suicide Squad, which will hit theaters in August.
Last summer, rumors of Affleck working with DC Entertainment’s chief creative officer Geoff Johns on a solo Batman story broke at San Diego Comic-Con. Johns has written many DC Comics titles, notably books involving Superman, The Flash and Green Lantern, and also authored the publisher’s reboot of the Justice League comic, which may have a heavy influence on the upcoming film judging from one of the big dream sequences in Batman v Superman. Additionally, Johns has worked as a writer and producer on DC’s TV shows Smallville, Arrow and The Flash.
Affleck talks about working with Johns at the 3:55 mark of the following video, though doesn’t say what exactly the project is.
“Geoff Johns is a brilliant guy,” Affleck said in the clip. “I consider him to be the most valued resource on all things comic book, and every time I like something in the comic I always mention it he goes, ‘oh yeah, I wrote that.’ Now I just think he’s bullshitting me and he says he wrote everything. You know, he and I are working together on something and I really am excited about it, and I love him, he’s the best.”
Affleck is certainly an accomplished screenwriter himself, having won a 1998 Academy Award for Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote with Matt Damon. He’s also written the scripts for three of the films he directed: Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the upcoming Live By Night. Work on a Batman film would certainly give Affleck an outlet in which he can channel his sadness over bad BvS reviews.
The newest version of Batman played by Affleck was probably the most faithful to the character seen in the comic books. This Dark Knight was an older, bitter vigilante who’s been fighting crime in Gotham City for 20 years and questioning how much of a difference he’s really made. Affleck’s Bruce Wayne may have been the most enjoyable yet, conveying an eccentric millionaire playboy in public, while struggling with his personal losses and the toll of his chosen life in his private moments.
(Keeping things entertaining around the Wayne estate is his trusted butler and advisor Alfred, played with growling wit by Jeremy Irons. Alfred teasing Wayne about his drinking problem and his insane lifestyle were among the better parts of BvS.)
Whether or not a stand-alone Batman film will feature this older version of the character or take place before the events of Batman v Superman isn’t yet known. However, there have been rumors that the movie will include Jared Leto’s Joker (featured in Suicide Squad) and may adapt the comic book storylines “A Death in the Family” and “Under the Red Hood,” which involve The Joker brutally beating Robin (his costume was seen in the Batcave during BvS), who comes back to seek revenge on the enemy Batman has never eliminated.