It sounds as if Ben Affleck might be bringing some gravitas behind the camera to go along with his gravelly on-screen voice in his portrayal of Batman. A new rumor has surfaced suggesting that Affleck will not only play the vigilante in Warner Bros.’ Batman v Superman and both Justice League films; he’ll also be directing himself in The Batman, a standalone film due out in 2018.
Latino-Review is reporting just that, with the additional news that Chris Terrio has been appointed as the film’s screenwriter. This lines up with what we here at Collider have been hearing for some time now–that Affleck’s deal to play the Batman in a minimum of three films likely included the opportunity to write and direct his own feature focusing on the Caped Crusader. With Affleck’s schedule as crazy as it is, it makes sense that screenwriting duties have fallen into the capable hands of Terrio, who previously collaborated with actor/director Affleck on the Academy Award-winning film Argo. It’s a safe bet that Affleck will also be working closely with Terrio on the script, despite how busy he’ll be with his other filmmaking duties.
Now that’s not to say that Terrio isn’t busy; quite the opposite. He’d previously come on board Batman v Superman to tackle screenwriting duties after David S. Goyer’s early drafts. Terrio is also lined up as the scribe for both Justice League films, so the addition of The Batman puts the Dark Knight’s story in DC’s Cinematic Universe squarely in his hands.
Beyond Affleck playing Batman and Terrio tackling scripting duties in the already-announced films, none of this news has been confirmed. That being said, Warner Bros./DC is poised to blow the roof off of the upcoming San Diego Comic-Con. It seems as good a place as any to announce a new standalone Batman film, with Affleck directing and Terrio writing, and its intended release date, a probable November 2018 slot that’s intended to compete with Captain Marvel. WB/DC might even roll the entire Justice League cast out on stage a la The Avengers a few years back, with the possibility of two new Green Lanterns. Should be an interesting event.
Update: Complications in Affleck’s Batmania occur when we remember his other projects, something I overlooked in an earlier draft of this article. His next film, Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant, is now in post-production with an expected January 29, 2016 release date, so aside from doing press tours for that film, he should be free and clear. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is also in post-production, but David Ayer’s Suicide Squad is currently filming; Affleck is expected to pop up in that film as well, though to what extent remains unclear.
Now here’s the kicker: Live by Night, Affleck’s adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel that he’s writing, directing, and starring in, and a film which has been delayed a number of times already. That film, also part of the Warner Bros. slate, is due in theaters October 7, 2016. One imagines that Affleck would have been hard-pressed to kick this particular can a little further down the road once again, so my money is that Live by Night is his next film before going full bore into Justice League and a possible standalone The Batman film. That would make one Batman movie a year from 2017 to 2019, so it looks like Affleck will get his own creative passions out of the way before buckling down and becoming the Bat in earnest.
Let us know what you think about Affleck directing himself in The Batman in the comments below!