Even if Ben Affleck ultimately passes on “Justice League,” that doesn’t mean the filmmaker shouldn’t consider a return to comic book movies. “Daredevil” was a bad experience, sure, but there are tons of comics out there that Affleck’s signature vision would be perfect for. Here are five of our recommendations.
A man with the voice of God, his sharpshooting girlfriend and their hard-drinking Irish vampire companion are just three of the leads in Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s “Preacher,” my all-time favorite comic series. It’s dark, it’s gross, it’s hilarious, it’s heartbreaking, it’s everything. There are a lot of wild concepts at play in “Preacher” but plenty of real-world elements to ground all the action in. If Affleck is looking for a comic property that’s a bit more extreme but not too far outside his comfort zone, “Preacher” could be the one.
Brian K. Vaughan’s political drama, like “Preacher,” boasts its fair share of out-of-this-world components but not at the expense of the gritty realism that has shaped Affleck’s directing career thus far. There are countless compelling characters for Affleck to sink his teeth into, too, Mayor Mitch Hundred especially. If he’s only looking to direct movies he can star in, Affleck doesn’t need to look much further than “Ex Machina.” He might be a bit squeamish about The Great Machine’s getup, but “Ex Machina,” at its core, is about politics and corruption, albeit with a few powers and capes. That’s a concept Affleck could make work.
In turning down “Man of Steel,” Affleck gave an interview with an offhanded mention of wanting to make a movie like “Blade Runner” some day. Well, “Choker” could be that movie. Bens McCool and Templesmith’s neo-noir tale about the mutant-filled Shotgun City definitely draws inspiration from the Ridley Scott sci-fi masterpiece while striking out wholly as its own unique vision as well. “Choker” is ambitious and over-the-top but not at the expense of a compelling cast of characters. It’s a weird little yarn that Affleck could have a lot of fun playing around with.
If Affleck’s changed his tune about the mainstream superhero game, then Frank Castle is his man. All of the live-action “Punisher” movies to date have had their fair share of shortcomings (that’s the nice way of putting it), but Castle is a character begging for a serious “Nolan” level treatment. Affleck, proving himself with street-level fare “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town,” is the perfect man to get the job done. “Punisher” is at Marvel, of course, which moves Affleck away from WB and the DC Universe, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right fit.
“Batman” In, Like, 10 Years At Best, Maybe
It’s way too soon for Affleck to take on the Dark Knight. His sensibilities aren’t that close to Nolan’s, but all signs indicate that Affleck would take a real-world approach to Gotham City… and we’re just too close to the “Dark Knight” trilogy for that. In ten years, sure, that could be just the ticket. But not now, not tomorrow, not next month, not in two years. Let the bat get a few years of sleep under his belt, and then maybe Affleck would be the right man for the job.
What comic books would you like to see Affleck adapt? Let us know in the comments section below or hit us up with suggestions on Twitter!