The most debated rumor in all the recent DC excitement has been whether or not Ben Affleck (or Batfleck as he has been dubbed) will don the cape and cowl again outside of Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Despite notable sources saying it is happening the doubt on his return should not be balked at since it is believed he left the role for personal and professional reasons.
Why He Left
During this time of Affleck’s life, the tabloids showcased the difficulties he was going through. Such as personal issues at home and a struggle with alcoholism. While all that was going on he was sitting there watching a friend, Zack Snyder, get bullied non-stop from the very executives that he would be dealing with had he moved forward with developing and making his own Batman movie. Let’s look at bit more into those issues.
Internal Campaign Against Snyder
Over the last two years we have heard bits and pieces of what transpired over at DC/WB during the production of Snyder’s films. Whether you believe Geoff Johns and Jon Berg were attempting to destroy what Zack was building or not. There are many signs that point to the hell the actors and filmmakers went through over those 3/4 years.
Below is a quick outline of the madness that allegedly occurred over the past seven years at DC/WB. Ask yourself when reading this. Why would an Award winning Actor/Director want any part of this?
It is rumored that the original Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice script was leaked to DC’s biggest competitor, Marvel. This in turn gave Marvel Studios the idea to make their next team up film, Captain America: Civil War. There was then a mad dash to re-write and adjust the film delaying it an entire year.
Geoff Johns, despite being a solid comic book writer, couldn’t grasp the fact that his Superman film idea was not chosen and seemingly held a grudge against the Snyderverse slate of films. It’s believed that he played a role in leaking many aspects of Batman v Superman to the public as well as using outlets close to him to bash on the film prior to it’s release hurting its financial gain.
It should be no surprise that studios meddle in their upcoming film projects all the time. However, after Batman v Superman did not live up to the success the execs anticipated. Major changes were set in motion for Snyder’s next film. Justice League.
Opportunity to Take Over
It is absolutely sickening that this could even be slightly true. In 2017 shortly after Zack Snyder’s daughter tragically committed suicide. Despite wanting to bury himself in work and make his way to the finish line to release Justice League. Snyder was being bullied into changing his vision and film constantly. What was originally supposed to be a five film arc starting from Man of Steel and ending with Justice League 3 was dwindled down to four and possibly three. (depending on who you talk to). Continuous requests to change the tone, the look of characters and even length of the film pushed Snyder out. Zack and his wife, producer, Deborah decided it was best to walk away from the project.
When Zack stepped aside from the project this was Geoff Johns opportunity to bring in his man, Joss Whedon. In doing so nearly the entire movie was re-written and re-shot thus making it a completely different film than we were originally supposed to get. It was later revealed by Ray Fisher that “Whedon’s on-set treatment of cast and crew was gross, abusive, unprofessional and completely unacceptable.”
This is but a taste of what begins to bring clarity to the hell which transpired during production of Snyder’s films. Ben Affleck saw this, and despite a contract and obligation he backed out.
What Would Bring Affleck Back?
Well for starters, Zack Snyder. Snyder was the reason Affleck came into the role to begin with. His passion and ideas for the character are what interested Ben. Now with Snyder returning to the Director’s chair, possibly for more than just a re-cut version of Justice League, It would make sense that Affleck would get re-inspired to take on the role.
Here is what he said in a March 2016 interview with People in regards to being cast as The Dark Knight.
“When Zack asked me I didn’t think I would be right for the role,” Affleck revealed on the U.K’s The Graham Norton Show . “He said, ‘He’s completely broken down, he’s older, falling apart and morally bankrupt – you are perfect for it!’
In line with that, it was Zack who inspired Ben to even consider doing a solo Batman movie. Something he states in a 2016 interview with USA Today
“I’ll just say going through the process, I would never have imagined that I could or would direct a movie like this. And in working with director Zack Snyder and seeing what he did and watching him every day, I got really inspired by that and by seeing the scope on which he was telling the story, by seeing what he was able to do with this kind of mythic story on a grand scale.”
The other big aspect that we cannot forget is the executives who were “running” the show at WB are no longer there. Better yet, Ben’s return would not be to the big screen, that is being utilized for Robert Pattinson’s Batman portrayal, but rather for the small screen exclusively on HBO Max. The creative freedom which Snyder is now being allotted by HBO Max and Warner media will undoubtedly go to Ben as well.
Did he Sign a New Contract?
That is the million dollar question isn’t it? Our friends at The Cultured Nerd believe to have sourced the information sufficiently and has stated, Yes, Ben has already signed a new contract. The timing of when and where the official announcement is not yet known. But with two upcoming conventions in the next six weeks, one of which will most likely highlight Pattinson’s Batman. It’s beginning to seem likely we may get the confirmation of this at…
For those that worry about the time Affleck has with a handful of projects lined up for him over the next 18 months. This isn’t something that would need to happen immediately. It could also hinge on the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League on how quickly a Ben Affleck led Batman project would be made.
Either way it is a GREAT TIME TO BE A DC FAN!
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Author: Robert Slavinsky
Robert is not only a Senior Editor for Spoilerverse.com but he also hosts both Bridging the Geekdoms and the Spoilerverse's premier Star Wars podcast, Shootin' the Sith. He is a passionate fan of movies, video games, comics and pretty much all things within the pop-culture world. He can be found on Twitter or over on his Bridging the Geekdoms YouTube channel where he talks about any rumors he is hearing as well as news that has dropped and more.