[UPDATE: Ben Affleck has refuted this rumor.]
Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is right around the corner, and many people have been wondering about the potential quality of the film. It’s no secret that there’s a lot riding on its success. Warner Bros. is using the project as a launching point for the DC Extended Universe, already scheduling a complete slate of movies that goes until 2020. For their part, the studio remains confident they have a hit franchise; Snyder will start rolling the cameras on Justice League Part One this April, shortly after Batman V Superman hits theaters.
It’s all but a guarantee that Dawn of Justice will be a commercial smash – the most recent box office projections have it pegged for an opening weekend between $100 – $140 million – but the larger question is how people will respond to the actual product on the screen. Man of Steel proved to be divisive and became one of the most polarizing comic book movies in recent memory. With Snyder back at the helm for Batman V Superman, there are those concerned it will be more of the same, but everyone involved did what they could to ensure the film was as strong as it could be.
According to US Magazine, Ben Affleck handled some rewrites of the screenplay while production was ongoing. Apparently once he got dressed in his Batman suit, the Oscar winner would “sit around reworking the script.” The unnamed source indicated that Affleck “wasn’t thrilled with it” and would spend some time tweaking certain things before shooting commenced on multiple occasions.
As is the case with most things Batman V Superman, the source’s rumored report is sure to generate an impassioned response from fans – particularly the “wasn’t thrilled with it” part. However, it’s important to note that it’s not uncommon for major Hollywood blockbusters to undergo script rewrites during principal photography. Once the team is gathered on the set and has an opportunity to discuss things together, they could change some elements after getting a feel for the scene. In addition, Affleck did receive an Academy Award for co-writing Good Will Hunting and penned his acclaimed dramas Gone Baby Gone and The Town. His input was probably valued and encouraged, particularly if the plan is to have him write and direct a solo Batman movie.
The magazine’s source does not specify the extent of the rewrites, but it’s safe to assume that Affleck did not do a complete overhaul of the script. Argo‘s Chris Terrio remains credited for the screenplay, doing such a great job that Batman V Superman cast members can’t stop raving about his work and WB wants him back to tackle the two-part Justice League event. It seems like anything Affleck contributed were minor edits to what was already there, perhaps an attempt to better emphasize a dramatic beat or particular theme. If Affleck’s rewrites were more substantial, it most likely would have been reported much earlier and been a larger story.
It’s arguably a positive sign that Affleck was involved with Batman V Superman in this capacity. Filmmaking is meant to be a collaborative process, and his résumé speaks for itself. In a way, it would have been a waste of Affleck’s talents to only use him as an actor, since his knowledge of the full craft runs deep. Getting an extra set of eyes on the script to fine tune the dialogue never hurts, especially when the weight of an entire franchise rests on the shoulders of a single movie.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, which is followed by Suicide Squad on August 5, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19, 2020.
Source: US Magazine