Ben Affleck Responds To The Rumors He'll Direct A DC Movie For James Gunn

When James Gunn and Peter Safran revealed to the world one half of their plan for the first chapter of DC Films, titled Gods and Monsters, they left open several doors for existing DC collaborators to stick around and play in their sandbox. There was talk about Henry Cavill playing a different role in the DC Universe other than Superman, because Gunn wants to recast the role for his upcoming Superman: Legacy. And they mentioned that they had conversations with Ben Affleck, and that he was going to be “a part of the architectural team” that would construct the future of DC moving forward. Gunn went so far as to suggest there were “two different projects” that they had in mind for Affleck, leading some to speculate that he might want to direct Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  

Well, stick a fork in those plans.

While promoting his upcoming film Air, which gets into Nike’s recruitment of basketball legend Michael Jordan, Ben Affleck opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the difficult times he had with DC and Warner Bros., and whether or not he would accept an invitation to direct a film in the new universe. And Affleck, in no uncertain terms, said:

I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not. I have nothing against James Gunn. Nice guy, sure he’s going to do a great job. I just wouldn’t want to go in and direct in the way they’re doing that. I’m not interested in that.

It’s hard to fault Ben Affleck. He certainly doesn’t need to do anything in the DC Universe, and really only has to consider directing a project in that realm because it interests him more than whatever else is out there. Affleck has directed Oscar winning films, is collaborating with Michael Jordan on new movies, and rekindled his marriage to the love of his life, Jennifer Lopez. This dude doesn’t need to take on any more baggage, which is exactly what accompanied him on Justice League

Now, there are endless reasons why Justice League failed, and I document most of them in my own book, Release the Snyder Cut (opens in new tab). But to hear Affleck talk about that experience, years after the fact, he makes it sound like the wound is still gaping. Affleck tells THR:

I was going to direct a Batman, and [Justice League] made me go, ‘I’m out. I never want to do any of this again. I’m not suited.’ That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some shitty experiences. It broke my heart. There was an idea of someone [Joss Whedon] coming in, like, ‘I’ll rescue you and we’ll do 60 days of shooting and I’ll write a whole thing around what you have. I’ve got the secret. And it wasn’t the secret. That was hard.

While this news is depressing, because it means we won’t ever see the Batman movie that apparently had an incredible script. At the same time, it’s feeling more and more like the world that James Gunn is starting to build with Superman: Legacy is going to be a complete break from the time period that fans lovingly refer to as the SnyderVerse, given the creative influence that Zack Snyder had on decisions for films produced at that time. 

Still, there are plenty of films on the way from DC, from filmmakers who do want to be at the house that Gunn is building, so keep checking CinemaBlend for the latest updates on upcoming DC movies, and the characters on which they will focus.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.