Despite its mixed reception, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice keeps chugging along. Although it experienced a significant drop in box office from its opening day throughout the following weekend, it looks as though it could have a strong second weekend – owing to being the only blockbuster on the block and having strong repeat ticket sales. If it keeps up a full head of steam, Batman V Superman will jumpstart the DCEU in a big way, preparing fans for DC/Warner Bros. full line of comic book cinema action.
Although there has been no set release date, Ben Affleck has admitted to conferring with DC's Geoff Johns on a solo Batman flick – likely starring, written, and directed by him as well. Even critics who panned Batman V Superman generally left Affleck’s Batman alone, and Affleck has another notable filmmaker and comic book superfan in his corner as well: Kevin Smith.
Attending the Freep Film Festival last Thursday night, Smith spoke with the crowd about Batman V Superman (via Comic Book.com). He addressed the assembled crowd about his somewhat infamous “Fat Man On Batman” podcast review, which claimed the film had “a fundamental lack of understanding” of the characters. But when speaking about his old comrade, Affleck, whom he last directed in Clerks II, he had kinder words in general – especially with regards to the standalone Batman film. Describing Affleck’s level of commitment and quality, Smith noted:
“I guarantee you he's read everything (review-wise) ... and he's like: 'OK, these are all the pitfalls my script isn't going to fall into.' ”
The Detroit Free Press also noted that Smith “floated the idea that Affleck, who has a screenwriting Oscar for Good Will Hunting, could get another nomination or even a win for his Batman film.” High praise from Smith for certain, but it’s not without its merits. Aside from his aforementioned screenwriting Oscar (shared with Matt Damon), Affleck also won a Best Picture Oscar for his 2012 picture Argo – for which many believe he was snubbed for the Best Director win as well. Aside from his two Academy Awards, the actor took home several Golden Globes, Screen Guild and BAFTA Awards as well.
To date, no live-action superhero picture has won an Academy Award for Best Director, Screenplay, Best Picture. And with the exception of Heath Ledger (for The Dark Knight), no actor has won an Oscar from their work in a comic book film. With a massive slate of comic book films on the horizon, many with their own sizeable amount of talent involved, perhaps comic book films will finally see some Oscar glory, beyond the sound and FX crews, anyway. And with major star power like Affleck, who has a high-caliber body of work and a positive reception in the role, DC would be foolish not to tune up the Batmobile for another round asap.
Admittedly, Affleck and Smith’s friendship stretches back to Affleck’s role in Mallrats (1995). As a result, fans should take his praise of Affleck with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, Smith does know his comic book films and has worked extensively with Affleck, so he certainly knows what the multitalented persona is capable of. If nothing else, we’ll probably see Affleck’s Batman again very soon, as he’s rumored to have a cameo in Suicide Squad.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25, 2016, 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. Solo Superman and Batman movies are coming before 2020.