Ben Affleck has received the most acclaim as an actor for portraying ordinary individuals in exceptional situations. Films like Gone Girl, The Company Men, The Way Back, The Tender Bar, Changing Lanes, and To the Wonder showcase his talent in such roles.
More than these films, the actor was a worthy addition to the actors who played the iconic character — Batman.
Ben Affleck as Batman
Besides acting, he’s an exceptional director, too. He ventured into directing in 2007 with his debut film, Gone Baby Gone, which was one of the year’s best films — even compared to Mystic River and The Departed. Affleck achieved a significant artistic milestone by directing Argo, which went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, marking one of the highest achievements in his directing career.
His second movie, The Town, was also a critical hit. But in 2010, the Paycheck actor confirmed that he turned down the opportunity to direct Man of Steel. At the time, he was unaware that the film referred to as Untitled Superman Reboot (originally) would serve as the starting point for a franchise in which he would later play a major role.
Why Did Ben Affleck Decline the Opportunity to Direct the DC Movie?
Man of Steel
Ben Affleck has already proven himself an incredible director with just five films. During a Q&A with Deadline in November 2010 (via MTV) (just a month after Zack Snyder took the helm of Man of Steel), he shared his reasons for declining the opportunity:
“The one benefit of having done all kinds of movies as an actor is, you learn the pros and cons of being tempted to do a really big movie because it costs a lot of money. With Superman, I think they’re going to do a great version. [Producer] Chris Nolan is brilliant and they’ve got a great director for it. I’d love to do something like Blade Runner, but a lesson I’ve learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they’ll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what’s important. Also, there are a lot of guys ahead of me on the list to do epic effects movies.”
According to the above statement, Affleck’s concern makes sense. When relatively new directors tackle big-budget movies with little experience, there’s a risk they won’t have the chance to refine their skills.
In 2003, the actor starred in Daredevil, and he saw that before getting the warmer reception for R-rated Director’s Cut, the movie had already started getting unflattering reviews. So, he understood the limitations of working on an expensive superhero comic book adaptation.
Another DC Movie That Ben Affleck Declined
After turning down Man of Steel, Ben Affleck directed and starred in Argo in 2012, a historical thriller based on a true story. The film was highly successful and won three Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chris Terrio.
This success led Affleck and Terrio to collaborate with Zack Snyder on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Affleck played Batman in these films, and Terrio co-wrote both, contributing to the DC Extended Universe, a series of interconnected DC Comics movies that started with Man of Steel.
The star had a second opportunity to direct a superhero film with The Batman but decided to step away from the project because of various factors. These factors include his struggle with alcoholism, his divorce from Jennifer Garner, and, more than that, the demanding Justice League reshoots. Later, Matt Reeves (known for Cloverfield and War for the Planet of the Apes) took over as the film director.
In 2010, Ben Affleck confirmed that he declined to direct Man of Steel without knowing it would launch a franchise he’d later join. Read More