Though Ben Affleck is now officially Batman, joining the storied ranks of actors such as Will Arnett, Seth Green, Sam Rockwell, and nobody else, this isn’t the first time the actor’s name has come up in relation to the Dark Knight. Nope, in fact, the first time was – no joke – 2000. Here’s a brief timeline of Affleck’s flirtation with Gotham:
Three years after the disaster that was Batman & Robin, and five years before Christopher Nolan’s reinvention of Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins, Warner Brothers turned to Darren Aronofsky – who had just finished Requiem For a Dream – and asked him to try his hand at Batman. Because when you see that “a** to a**” scene in Requiem, your first thought is, “This guy would direct a great Batman flick.”
WB teamed Aronofsky up with Frank Miller to do a gritty adaptation of Miller’s own “Batman: Year One,” and then were promptly shocked when they turned in a gritty adaptation of “Batman: Year One.”
“From the guy who had one of his own main character’s hands chopped off, and the guy who wrote a graphic novel where a bunch of prostitutes’ heads are hanging on the wall of a trophy room?” asked a baffled WB Exec. “I’m stunned.”
Point is, while the script was in play, Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer, Christian Bale, and Keanu Reeves all threw their hats into the ring, though the script was eventually scuttled.
Even with the lack of script, Affleck was rumored to be the front-runner for Warner Brothers’ further attempts to reboot the series. However, fresh off the double smash successes of Forces of Nature and Bounce (okay, maybe not), thought the whole thing was ridiculous:
“…[T]his story is absurd. There is no Batman script, no movie being planned, they have not called me or my agent.”
Affleck reportedly wrote this on a message-board, which we’ll assume for the time being was a Prodigy BB. Continuing, he wrote that, “… Gwyneth is much more the Electra type,” which despite spelling Elektra wrong, serves the dual purposes of teasing that he would play Daredevil two short years later, and also, may have been dating Gwyneth Paltrow at some point. That was a thing, right? I think that was a big thing.
Affleck, as you may know, did not end up being Batman. Yet.
Warner Brothers was putting a Justice League movie on the fast-track, and the rumor mill churned over-time when it was leaked that Affleck – now a successful non-Gwyneth Paltrow dater, and part time award winning Director – would be taking the chair. However, it was not true, and the whole Justice League thing disappeared, at least for the time being. Interestingly, here’s Affleck’s quote on the matter:
They were like, ’Here’s the stuff we’re doing,’ you know? ’Here’s what we’re looking at.’ That kind of thing. And they suggested it. But I don’t think there’s a script. I don’t think there’s anything.”
…At which point we’re beginning to suspect that maybe either Affleck doesn’t know what a script is, or just people are playing some sort of Reindeer Games with him.
This tweet from Latino Review’s El Mayimbe – surprisingly not even remotely a review of Latinos, nor related to reviewing Latinos in any way – added an interesting tidbit to the 2012 Justice League furor:
FUN & FABULOUS FANBOY FACT OF THE DAY: DID YA KNOW WHEN AFFLECK WAS APPROACHED TO DIRECT JUSTICE LEAGUE THEY ALSO WANTED HIM TO PLAY BATMAN?
— elmayimbe (@elmayimbe) February 8, 2013
Woah, calm down, El Mayimbe. We’re not reviewing Latinos here, no need to shout.
Warner Brothers manages to convince Affleck with some artistically placed large bags of cash to play Batman. Fans proceed to freak out.
One Week Later
Everybody forgets about this, moves on to the next Nerd Rage item.
So there you go! A brief history of Affleck’s back and forth with Batman, and a reminder that it could have been far, far worse: Keanu Reeves could have been Bruce Wayne. Woah.
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