Have you seen the #SadAffleck meme? It’s a video showing Ben Affleck’s absolutely devastated reaction to learning of all the negative reactions to Batman v Superman. Pretty funny, right? Not effing at all if you Ben Affleck though! The Batman actor has already been down this dark comic book movie road before with the almost universally panned Daredevil (which, by the way, has nearly twice as good a Rotten Tomatoes score as BvS), and just like then, you can’t really blame him for how the movie turned out. He did his job as Batman and he did it damn well, but the same can’t be said for most of the people around him.
But it looks like Affleck is not leaving his fate wholly in other people’s hands any longer as it’s been reported over the weekend by Deadline that for the upcoming Justice League, Affleck’s role has now been elevated from just star to executive producer. And this new role will apparently see him “work with director Zack Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio behind the scenes to make the film the best it can be”.
BMD elaborates on Affleck’s role, saying that he’s going to sit with Terrio – who he won an Oscar with for Argo – to shape up the script, and then also be quite involved in the post-production phase. Both of these are incredibly welcome changes. Terrio and David S. Goyer’s script for BvS was incredibly clunky to begin with, but the editing of the resultant 4-hour plus movie to a decent theatrical length was even more terrible. Several scenes in the film felt truncated, resulting in the film spending a lot of time just jumping around without a coherent narrative flow. And there was the whole “leaving a critical scene that explains a giant plot hole on the editing room floor” situation. Let’s please not do that again with Justice League, which is already a much more massive movie.
BMD’s Devin Faraci also reached out to his sources, and learned that Affleck’s “promotion” also had another angle to it besides for just a reaction to all the negativity.
My sources have told me that Affleck was incredibly unhappy about the reception of BvS. He felt humiliated after spending so much of the press tour saying how much better this film would be than Daredevil. On top of that his agent was furious when [Warner Bros CEO] Kevin Tsujihara jumped the gun and announced him as the director of The Batman – there were still negotiations happening.
This move seems to help placate Affleck while also edging Zack Snyder out of a controlling central position in the DC Movieverse.
In other words, Warner Bros finally realized that besides for a very divisive director who has delivered nothing besides mixed results for them, they have a two-time Oscar-winning and two-time Golden Globe-winning filmmaker on their payroll who they can use to turn this ship around. Y’know, instead of just pissing him off. Also, those rumours about a behind the scenes shakeup at WB due to the ramifications of BvS are suddenly looking a lot more concrete now. Just how much of a change is coming down the line?
The fact that Justice League had already begun shooting the week after BvS’ release means that there will still be quite a bit of Snyder-ness in the movie though – it’s probably too late to change that without getting too costly – but hopefully he can help to rectify things a bit. I mean, if anybody can do that, it’s Batman!
Justice League is currently shooting in the UK, and is scheduled for a November 17, 2017 release.
Last Updated: May 9, 2016