Very early into this new year, the internet was seemingly set ablaze by none other than Ben Affleck, the star and director of Live By Night, and the incumbent Dark Knight of Warner Bros. film universe based on the characters of DC Comics.
If nothing else, his going on the record in this way should say one, primary thing to the character’s gatekeepers at Warner Bros.: get the hell out of Batman’s way.
DC Films: Commercial Success, Critical Disappointment
Still, though these films seem to generate a lot of initial interest, it tends to fade away pretty quickly. Both Suicide Squad and Dawn of Justice suffered large – though not crippling – second week drops at the box office, and the proverbial “legs” of both movies seemed to have been cut off pretty decisively by the negative critical reactions, and the resulting lackluster word-of -mouth that surrounded both releases.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to make a chief assumption about this, which is that the initial interest is fed by the general love that fans have for the characters of DC Comics. If, though, these movies continue to commercially disappoint, then that love and goodwill for these characters can fade pretty quickly, which will make Warner Bros. run back to the Wizarding World for their blockbuster fuel with its tail between its legs if they just, simply, cannot demonstrate they know how to make good superhero movies anymore.
Enter a previously mentioned Oscar-winning director.
Batman May Once Again Be Key to WB Regaining Superheroic Critical Acclaim
When looking at the reality of DC’s film slate, Ben Affleck is in a pretty unenviable position. While buzz on Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman remains largely positive, this November’s Justice League film has a big question mark that will likely be hanging over it up through its release because of returning director Zack Snyder. Whether people think its deserved or not, there are a fair amount of fans and industry observers who simply aren’t convinced that Snyder’s third film with DC Comics characters will be “a charm.”
With rumors persisting about Warner Bros. seeking to make room on the schedule for Affleck’s Batman film, pressure is placed upon him to potentially “save” the DC Comics movie franchise’s critical reception. Once again, WB seems determined to flex its superheroic muscle through the Dark Knight, just as they did while Christopher Nolan was in the director’s chair.
On one hand, this makes sense. Affleck has more than proven himself as a capable director, and Batman has often been proven to be one of the studio’s most bankable properties. On the other hand, superhero fans could also interpret this as a regression: if the studio doesn’t succeed in garnering critical acclaim with Wonder Woman, then it may send the message that they simply don’t know how to make a superhero film that branches even a little off the path of Batman.
Still, that also puts Affleck in a somewhat enviable position because his clout as a director and as the new star of one of their most major franchises may make them more amenable to following his directives, instead of the other way around. This, from our perspective anyway, could be the decisive factor in making a standout Batman film in the DC Extended Universe.
Let Affleck Be Affleck
We’ve come a long way from the summer 2013 casting announcement that first revealed Affleck would become the new Batman, and all of the unwarranted outrage it brought. While Batman v Superman certainly had issues, a significant amount of critics and fans actually went out of their way to praise Affleck as Batman. Couple that generally well-regarded take on the character with Affleck’s proven directorial skill, and you likely have a movie that has the potential to be one of the genre’s best.
Of course, Warner Bros. would have to get out of his – and their own – way.
While DC Films has been undergoing a pretty sizable reorganization since mid-2016, we probably won’t really see what that will do for the films on the slate until next year’s offerings and later, including Affleck’s Batman project. Affleck needs to have the freedom to make a movie he can be happy with, and the studio should have the confidence in him to allow exactly that to happen.
They also need to keep him happy so that he’ll continue wanting to play Batman. That should be a chief concern since an actor of Affleck’s caliber – regardless of what a small sect of fans who just keep running Daredevil on repeat in their minds may think – will continue to enrich the Batman character on film for years to come.
It’d be awesome to see a Batman movie directed by Ben Affleck, and if WB wants to see it as well, then all they have to do is let it happen.
32 Great Movies That Received Zero Oscar Nominations
Scott Rudin Also ‘Stepping Back’ From Film and Streaming
Scott Rudin No Longer Involved With 5 Films Set at A24
‘Mank’ Wins Top Film Prize at American Society of
‘Harry Potter’ Alum Jason Isaacs Remembers Helen McCrory
CAA Lit Agent Jay Baker Apologizes for Comparing Black
Forest Whitaker to Co-Star With Tom Hardy in Action Film
‘Logan’ Director James Mangold to Boycott Georgia After
New Jersey Governor Hopes to Lure Movie Business From
‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Explodes to $121.8 Million Opening at
Celebrities6 years ago
Chantel Jeffries In A Thong Bikini At The Beach In Miami
Movies News5 years ago
Aubrey O'Day Reveals Pauly D Has His Penis Pierced: ''We've Been Having Rea…
Celebrities5 years ago
TV Query: Can ‘Lucifer’s’ Tom Ellis play the piano in real life?
Celebrities5 years ago
‘Are You the One?’ cast can win using basic logic: Season 4’s perfect matches are …