One of the things that excites me about the news that Ben Affleck has already turned in a solo Batman script is that we”ve never seen an actor write his own Batman film before. While I like many of the screen interpretations of the character that have come before, the actors who wear that suit have a perspective on how that feels that no one else does. If you”re someone like Affleck who has spent time in that cowl, it has to impact how you think about the character and his relationship to the world around him. It just has to.
Overall, I am curious to see how long Affleck stays attached to the part. He”s contracted, obviously, for both of the Justice League movies and he makes a cameo (at least) in Suicide Squad later this year. The cover story of the Hollywood Reporter that was just published is an interview with his agents, and they report that “there”s a script that he”s written that is a really cool [Batman] idea.” This may be the film that he was reportedly developing with Geoff Johns, and I”d be curious to see where it falls in the overall Batman timeline.
That”s one of the things that is most curious about starting this Batman at a point where they did. He”s already pretty far into his development as a character, but it also felt like even thought he”d already obviously lost a Robin, people were calling him “The Bat of Gotham” and “The Bat” and talking about him like he was a relatively new phenomenon. It was strange, but it just means that I don”t have my bearings yet as a viewer. I presume Affleck has a sense of where the character is in his own head, and a solo film would give him plenty of time to explore those ideas.
Visually, Affleck”s a great Batman, and I thought he had good chemistry with Jeremy Irons, who I certainly hope returns as Alfred for further adventures as well. I”m curious to see how he interacts with Jared Leto”s Joker, who will most likely turn out to be the next great battle line drawn in fandom, because I think any Batman is defined, at least in part, by the strength of his rogue”s gallery in general and his Joker in specific. The trailers for Suicide Squad have a very different tone than Batman v Superman, and seeing how well Batman is able to move from one film to the next will be an indicator (at least in part) as to how well the DC Universe is going to bend on film.
Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice is in theaters now.