Ben Affleck waffles about whether the standalone Batman movie is happening

A couple of weeks ago, Ben Affleck did a NY Times talk in front of a live audience. He was open and friendly and seemed to let his guard down. He of course complained about his tabloid persona circa Bennifer, because that’s his go-to topic, and he also disappointed a lot of DC fans by stating that the script for the standalone Batman movie wasn’t near completion. He said “I’m a real believer in not reverse engineering projects to meet a window or date… If I can find a writer there’s nothing I’d love more than to direct a standalone iconic great Batman movie, but it’s been done… I want to make sure, if we do it, we get the great version.” We previously heard that Affleck had a cowriter, Geoff Johns, who praised the script last May, leading many people to believe it was near completion. Well Affleck may not be sure about that because he’s made conflicting statements lately about whether the script is done and whether he’s ready to direct the film. As Variety mentions, Affleck made some statements to them recently which conflict the way he described the project in his long interview with The Guardian (which we covered yesterday).

Though he told Variety just two weeks ago that “everything is coming together” for the production of “The Batman,” a standalone film that he would direct and star in, in his latest interview didn’t sound so optimistic.

When he spoke to Variety at a New York screening of his new film “Live By Night,” he said, “We’re still finishing up a script. I’m very excited.”

But on New Year’s Day, Britain’s The Guardian released an interview ahead of the U.K. opening of “Live By Night” that made the project sound much more iffy. “That’s the idea,” he told The Guardian. “But it’s not a set thing and there’s no script. If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great I’m not going to do it.”

[From Variety]

Live by Night, a prohibition era gangster flick which Affleck directed and stars in, is out in limited release and has a meager 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not out in wide release until January 13. We know that Affleck reads reviews and that he cares what people say about his personal life and work. So maybe that’s affecting his perception of how ready the Batman movie is for prime time. We also know that Affleck is extremely sensitive to career downturns. So who is he going to blame for this one (if it comes to fruition) and how will he frame this with the press when it comes to discussing his career trajectory?

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28 Responses to “Ben Affleck waffles about whether the standalone Batman movie is happening”

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  1. Patricia says:

    Hahaha the headlines is “Ben Affleck Waffles” and in that’s header pic he looks like a straight up waffle waiting for syrup to be poured on.
    That’s all I got.

    • HeidiM says:

      Man he is not aging well.

    • Suzanne says:

      I bet if someone said that about Ashley Graham you’d go on a righteous rant about body shaming

      • jinni says:

        They’d be outraged.

      • Patricia says:

        Oh stop. If Ashely Graham showed up with a face looking like a weeklong rum binge just ended I might refer to her looking like a bloated waffle too. I didn’t comment on his body. His body is perfectly fine. It’s the exhausted pale ass bloat that strikes me as waffle-esque. Dude needs a nap and some detox tea.

    • African Sun says:

      DEAD at this comment lmao!

  2. Sam says:

    I know super hero films are all supposed to appear to be smooth sailing and just popcorn fun but damn I wouldn’t want to be a part of one. It looks like it tears a person a part especially when they’re trying to perfect it. Add on the expectations and the mentality stability some of these people have to begin and it all looks like a nightmare to me.

    • Mia4S says:

      The pressure Affleck chose to put on himself! I still don’t get it! I guess he really really wants to be Batman?

      Another interesting thing about this is imagining what Affleck is being paid. Likely a lot more than the rest of the DC stars. If he wants to keep being paid it, he’s going to have to prove he’s worth it.

      I mean it is really about concept, not stars. Disney is going to gross over a billion dollars on a dark Star Wars stand alone with actors who are terrific, but were not household names. Heck that was pretty much Bale when he started Batman! Marvel movies too. So is Affleck worth it?

      • jinni says:

        He said he decided to do the film to make up for Daredevil. So he is basically doing this so that he will no longer be known as one of the crap superhero movies, like Clooney. This is all about his pride. He should’ve just gotten a sense of humor about his hero flop like Clooney has because if what DC has been putting out is any indication, any Batman film will be a convoluted mess.

  3. Aiobhan Targaryen says:

    They need to let these Batman films just die. They keep doing the same origin story over and over with nothing new to add to the story, it just seems like a dog trying to claim ownership over long tread upon territory.

  4. als says:

    If Live by Night fails I am guessing we will see a major chilling ot of his rejuvenated relationship with Jennifer Garner. He considers her his golden goose.

    • JoJo says:

      @ALS – You think? I think if LBN fails/does poorly (early signs indicate it is), they’ll be even more likely to “reconcile.” He’s so obviously hyper-sensitive to how he’s perceived, I don’t think he’ll want to weather any perceived downturn alone. The family man image gives him a safety net, a modicum of stability/credibility from a publicity standpoint.

      • kimbers says:

        If he really cared about how he was perceived wouldnt he have not been kicked out of a casino for card counting, visited Lindsay in rehab when she was rumored to be an escort, not gotten down and dirty with strippers making Jlo dump him and not think if wluld be a great batman? Maybe continuing AA meetings would help him get then public on his side?

      • Jayna says:

        @Kimbers, the public likes Ben just fine, for the most part, or at least far more balanced than on here.. He wouldn’t be as successful as he is if not.. Just not the CB posters, etc, LOL His movie this fall, The Accountant, did great for WB as a middle-tier movie. WB loves him. I don’t know a person that dislikes Ben or focuses on the stuff you seem to be in the know about, visiting a troubled Lindsey Lohan in rehab (Who knew? I didn’t), card-counting, which wasn’t illegal. They aren’t that interested in what you think seems to affect him.

    • Kate says:

      Speaking of Jen, haven’t seen pics of her in awhile , no paparazzi pics of her leaving the gym, taking her kids to school or coffee runs, she’s been MIA. Did Ben push her off a ski slope in Montana and make it look like an accident?

      • Jenfan says:

        Oh stop !!! LOL
        It seems they were out of town for 2 weeks for holidays/ Montana vacation. I would have expected that the daily pap shots would have resumed this week – but they have not. Maybe Jen has a new strategy??? Maybe post vacay sickness – maybe staying under the radar until after next weeks live by night premier.
        Maybe the tabloids are right and she really is pregnant – at 44 I doubt it – but fun to contemplate :)

      • JoJo says:

        I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall on that vacation with Jen and Casey, who allegedly also had a long history of infidelity, and Matt, Ben’s tried and true BFF.

        Definitely interesting that Jen is skipping her daily strolls this week. Pregnancy could be a reason, but it was her rep that denied that to Gossip Cop, so I doubt it? And at nearly 45, the odds are practically zero. Maybe they did something absurd like renewed their vows and are laying low until some media outlet gives the story. Maybe they had a huge fight in Montana. LOL. Now I’m even more curious for the Globes.

      • Jenfan says:

        @jojo. Don’t forget Jen’s whole extended family was there too. LOL! Casey – probably Casey’s ex – was his new girlfriend there too?

        DM has a few pics of Jen this morning – from yesterday – no ring. I think it really is going to be limbo forever.

        Ben has a busy week next week – LBN premier in LA, an appearance on Ellen, LBN premier in London, Graham Norton show – and that is just what is published – I’m sure he will be hustling all week – especially with the poor reviews.

  5. Mia4S says:

    While I roll my eyes at the thought of this movie; this would be one thing Affleck and I actually agree on, wait for a good script. However I doubt the WB shareholders will be on the same wavelength. This could get ugly!

    • Jayna says:

      If he isn’t happy with the script, I think he’s doing the right thing and, hopefully, doesn’t let WB push him too far. But the pressure would be enormous to just finish it and start in May, like was being thrown around.

  6. The Original Mia says:

    Hahahahahahaha!! *takes deep breath* Hahahahahhahaha.

    Oh man, 3 Batfleck appearances and he’s already over it. Could it be the rumors that Justice League is going to continue the DCEU trend of sucking and Ben “Oscar-winning writer” Affleck can’t fix the train wreck? He wont quit. His ego is to massive to do that.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      Why blame BA for the crappy Batman v Superman? His Batman was actually the best part of the movie, in my opinion! He didn’t write or direct that movie. That was Snyder! Snyder is a terrible director! He has no concept of the Superman character AT ALL. Man Of Steel, was one of the worst Super hero films made, and the studio should have given BvS to a different director. He is the Michael Bay of Superhero movies!!! Not a complement, by the way!!! If Ben can’t get a script that he thinks can make a great Batman movie, then not doing it, is the right thing…

    • kimbers says:

      Right!?! He will spout script this script that, but in reality WB probably has zero intentions of pursuing him as batman. Man is delusional.

  7. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    He really annoys me.

  8. Jayna says:

    I’m surprised by the low ratings on Live By Night, although it’s not my type of movie anyway. From what I’ve read, he crammed far too many plot lines of the book into the movie and some critics said that it would have been better served to do it as a mini series on like HBO where it has room to breathe as far as the storylines and really flesh out some of the characters or take out some of the plot lines for the movie. . In the movie, he crammed a lot in in the beginning

    He always said he would have a movie that didn’t do well he directed, that it is just part of the business But I think his busy career, taking on Batman, Justice League, etc., pushing back this movie, then writing it and directing it in a smaller window of time during his initial separation with Jennifer didn’t get the best out of him. What I’ve liked about Ben was he was tight with his story-telling in a movie, not rambling or too slow in places, like this movie suggests. Although, it’s supposed to have some good car chases and improvement in his directing in other aspects.

    I think Warner Brothers made a mistake doing a limited run on it(opened in a few theatres) to put it in Oscar contention. That was to get some Oscar nods on the period costuming of the movie, technical aspects, etc., for which it was praised, which they probably thought would be free publicity for when it did open. But I guess they didn’t realize the ratings would be this low. Now, to me, it hurts it doing it that way versus not-very-good reviews right before it really opens. Ben does have a lot of male fans who like he movies he’s directed. But too much of a lag time between these reviews and the wide-release opening may make many of those fans wait until it goes to DVD. Although, many do like this type of movie, gangster type movie, and like seeing it on the big screen, so it will still probably get a decent opening, not bomb out of the water. Look how well Taken 2 did to horrible reviews. Although, LBN won’t get that kind of opening, but maybe it won’t bomb either. The Accountant, Ben’s most recent acting-gig movie, got a little better reviews than LBN, but the audience loved it and gave it a much higher score than critics. It got a good first weekend box office and stayed in our megaplex for two and a half months. Its budget was less than LBN, though.

    • MrsBPitt says:

      A lot of my friends saw The Accountant and loved it! They were surprised that it didn’t get better reviews! Live By Night looks like it was shot beautifully, but, I’m really not much of a “gangster” movie fan.

    • Kate says:

      I saw the Accountant and actually really liked it. But I have no interest seeing Live by Night, not interested in that genre. I agree that WB made a mistake opening in limited release, maybe it was Ben who pushed for it and they gave in, he probably thought he had a better movie than he did. I remember seeing a YouTube video many months ago, way before the release date was announced and before Ben was doing reshoots ,some insider saying that it was not a good movie and WB wanted to bury it, that Ben was unfocused, tired and irritable during shooting, he was right because the end product apparently isn’t that good, this would be Ben’s first “failure” as a director, so I imagine the pressure to make Batman perfect is getting to him.

  9. Joni says:

    Jesus, he looks terrible here.

    I think it all depends on how JS does. If its a success, the Batman standalone will go ahead right away. If its yet another disaster, Ben will want out of the franchise ASAP.