"Ben Affleck, you've just won your second Oscar. What are you going to do now?"
Folks, Ben Affleck is your new Batman. This is no joke. Affleck is the new caped crusader of Gotham city for the Man of Steel sequel in which Batman faces off against Superman. Coming his huge Best Picture win with Argo this year, no one could predict that they saw this startling announcement coming. Looks like he was serious when he announced at the DGAs (when he won the night's big prize for best director) and in front of the roomful of some of the top directors that he was still available for roles.
Affleck is not forsaking his acting career for directing as yet. He still on board to direct and star (like Argo) in the film adaptation of Dennis Lehane's novel Live by Night and act in another book adaptation, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl to be directed by David Fincher which will also release in 2015.
2015 is going to be huge year for Hollywood. Disney alone has The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: Episode VII, two Pixar features Inside Out and Finding Dory, the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean, Cinderella and the bonus Marvel film Ant-Man. Whew! Meanwhile, Universal Pictures has Jurassic Park 4 and Paramount Pictures has Terminator 5. Warner Bros. needs a lot of muscle to go up against these films and who better than the biggest superheroes in the world, Batman and Superman in the same film? I'm guessing this will be launching pad for the long rumored Justice League franchise as well.
I don't doubt that Affleck is bad actor. I have held my actor stock in Affleck throughout the years from Forces of Nature to Pearl Harbor to Surviving Christmas to Hollywoodland and beyond. Remember, he has tackled a superhero film before with Daredevil who's popularity lead to spin-off film for his wife, Jennifer Garner, who played Elektra instead. My worry is that it's too soon to be launching and rebooting the Batman universe (and to include Superman) right after Christopher Nolan's masterful The Dark Knight trilogy. Those films will stand the test of time. And Christian Bale's Batman lead other actors to believe that they too could merge critical success with the box-office in a superhero film.
Director Zack Snyder insists that this older and wiser Batman will bring an "interesting counter-balance" to the younger Superman. Summer 2015 is still two years away. We will have time to process and the scheme of the films lined up for 2015, this matchup of Batman vs. Superman won't seem as surprising as it does now. What were your thoughts when you first heard the news?