Ben Affleck used to be a joke in Hollywood. Hell, look at most of his output from the early 2000s. Terrible, terrible stuff from an otherwise talented actor. And then the chap decided to re-energise his career by becoming one of the best directors in the business today.
Argo was a smash hit for Affleck, a tense thriller that earned him rave reviews. But that was way back in 2012 already, with his next project, Live By Night, constantly being put on the back-burner. There are various reasons for that, as he got roped into working with David Fincher on the hit Gone Girl flick, and then donned the tight rubber of a new Batsuit for Batman V Superman: It’s Friday and I’m too lazy to come up with something better right now.
Live By Night is finally getting prioritised however, as Warner Bros has greenlit the project for a reported shoot date that begins in November. Based on the Dennis Lehane’s Prohibition-era crime thriller, Affleck has already tapped Elle Fanning,Sienna Miller, and Zoe Saldana to star with him in the adaptation.
That’s not the big news however. Because once Affleck wraps up on Live By Night, he’ll be starring and directing the next Batman movie, a standalone that he’ll co-write with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. For those not in the know, Johns is one of the most critically acclaimed comic book writers of this generation, with his runs on several flagship DC titles like Green Lantern, Superman, The Flash, Justice League, JSA and more being considered some of the greatest of all time. He also has plenty of experiencing scripting for the screen as he penned several episodes of The Flash, Arrow, Smallville, Robot Chicken, Blade: The TV Series and several of DC’s animated feature films.
Per Deadline, Affleck and Johns are “in sync” and may even finish the script for the new Batman movie before the end of the US summer, which will give Affleck breathing room to focus on Live By Night.
There’s no concrete information on which slot this DC film will inhabit in their future line-up, but it is apparently a priority movie for WB that could shift the release dates of other films in that stable.
Zack Snyder is expected to start production on Justice League Part One sometime next year for a November 2017 release, while Patty Jenkins will continue to develop Wonder Woman, which is looking at June 23, 2017 release date. Batman would most likely be a 2018 release then.
It’s exciting news however. You’ve got one of the best directors in Hollywood focusing on a flick which isn’t being set up for various sequels,. And that just gives me a Joker-level grin.
Last Updated: July 10, 2015