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After a year of being director-less, The Flash's solo movie seems to have finally surmounted that obstacle. Following behind Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa, it was reported yesterday that Vacation directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are currently in negotiations to helm the Scarlet Speedster's cinematic adventure, which is now being called Flashpoint. However, one interesting tidbit that was also included in the report is that Ben Affleck was approached to direct Flashpoint, but turned it down.
While Ben Affleck is arguably best known as an actor, he also has considerable directing experience under his belt thanks to helming Gone Baby Gone, The Town, Argo and Live by Night. Since 2016, he's been playing Batman in the DC Extended Universe, with last November's Justice League marking his third appearance as the Caped Crusader. So given Flashpoint's directorial troubles over the last two+ years, perhaps Warner Bros and DC thought it would be a good idea to have some talent already in-house take a crack at it. Variety didn't provide any details on why specifically Affleck turned down directing Flashpoint, but whatever the reason, it paved the way for John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to be courted. If a deal for the duo is finalized, this will be their second time working on a superhero movie together, previously writing Spider-Man: Homecoming.
This is the second DCEU directing opportunity that's passed by Ben Affleck. For a while, the plan was for Ben Affleck to direct The Batman on top of starring in it, with the movie originally intending following the Dark Knight's conflict with Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke. However, around this time last year, Affleck announced that he was stepping down as director, and weeks later, War for the Planet of the Apes' Matt Reeves was hired as his replacement. Reeves is also completely re-writing the script, so it remains to be seen what the new story will be about (though Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke now has his own movie in the works). Now with this Flashpoint update, it sounds like Affleck still isn't interested in directing any DC movie, Batman-related or otherwise.
That being said, just because Ben Affleck won't direct Flashpoint doesn't mean we should rule out an appearance from him. Like the original 2011 story, DC's Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns said that the Flashpoint movie will include Batman elements, and several reports have come out saying that Flashpoint might be where Affleck delivers his final Batman performance, since Matt Reeves reportedly wants to "cast the role with fresh talent" for The Batman. While it remains to be seen if this is true or not, Bruce Wayne did make a cameo at the end of the original Flashpoint story, and he had a slightly expanded role in the animated movie Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox. So it's entirely possible that Affleck could reprise Batman for a small role in Flashpoint to help make this adaptation be a little more faithful to the source material.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on Flashpoint as they come in, and check out our DC movies guide to see what other projects this franchise has coming down the pipeline.