Here's the scoop: Affleck is supposedly starring in, directing and co-writing the next "Batman" movie, with DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns joining in on writing duties. That's an all-star team-up for fans, and it's one that presents Affleck with a whole lot of possibilities.
Affleck directing and writing the next "Batman" movie remains unconfirmed for now, but in case it does happen, here are a few story ideas for the Batfleck to ponder:
"Batman: Earth One"DC Comics
Geoff Johns' "Batman" graphic novel focuses on Bruce Wayne making his way through Gotham City as an early iteration of the Dark Knight. He has a badass war veteran version of Alfred as an ally, and a politically connected Penguin as an adversary. It's a cool story, one that brings us a deadly new version of Oswald Cobblepot, and one who could work really well on film — maybe not as well as Danny DeVito, but in Affleck's hands, it could be a deadly character.
"Batman: Year One"DC Comics
Another early Batman story. Really, the early Batman story, an iconic one in DC Comics lore, as Bruce explores his abilities as a crime-fighter for the first time, as seen by folks like Jim Gordon and other members of the Gotham City Police Department. Granted, Affleck is considerably older than the Batman of "Year One," but some sort of flashback component tied in with a modern day storyline could work.
"Gotham," But BetterWarner Bros./FOX
No offense to "Gotham," of course, but there are opportunities to explore the GCPD in a deeper way than the show is able to manage, thanks to Affleck's proficiency with telling dark and gritty crime stories. Plus, he just so happens to be pals with "Argo" actor Bryan Cranston, who lent his voice to Jim Gordon in the "Batman: Year One" animated movie. An Affleck-Cranston "Batman" team-up feels like a thing that needs to happen, even more than Bryan Cranston-as-Lex Luthor.
Anything with Mr. FreezeWarner Bros.
Speaking of Cranston, line the man up for Victor Fries. If anyone can redeem the character after Arnold Schwarzenegger's frostily received turn, Cranston's the guy.
Anything ArkhamRocksteady Studios
Whether it's adapting "Arkham Asylum" the Grant Morrison comic book, or "Arkham Asylum" the video game (and resulting sequels), Affleck could do wonders exploring the halls that hold Gotham's most messed up maniacs. Arkham Asylum has reared its head in the movies before, but never as the central focus. Affleck, book it.
The Court of OwlsDC Comics
A new group of villains introduced in recent Batman comics, this secret organization has been pulling the strings on Gotham City from behind-the-scenes for years. In fact, one of its principle players is a man named Lincoln March — a person who may or may not be a secret Wayne himself. Basically, an opportunity for Ben Affleck to cast his brother Casey as a Batman villain. That's, like, third to last on the list of reasons why a Court of Owls movie would be great, which speaks to the great list of reasons.
The Joker BeginsWarner Bros
How did Jared Leto's Joker get all those steel-covered teeth and prison tattoos? Probably because Batman punched him right in the mouth and threw him right in the slammer. That's a "Suicide Squad" and "Batman v Superman" prequel we would love to see, even if we're just as interested in seeing some other Batman villains get their due before getting yet another Joker movie. Still, the Affleck v Leto movie would be worth the hype.