While Man of Steel is officially the first film in the DC Extended Universe timeline, it was the announcement of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice that truly showed what the universe would be evolving into. It was demonstrated even further with the casting of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne aka Batman. Initially, the casting was maligned by many, but Affleck's performance in BvS turned those critics around and firmly placed him as one of the best aspects of the DCEU.
The movie served as not only Affleck's gateway into this world, but also brought him back to blockbusters movies in a big way. Despite the film not earning the reception that he or anyone else involved had hoped for, Affleck says he used Batman V Superman as a learning experience - which should be of benefit before he directs The Batman.
BBC Radio 1 (h/t Heroic Hollywood) had the chance to interview Affleck in conjunction with Live By Night's theatrical release and asked him about the experience he had throughout the process of filming and promoting BvS. He took the opportunity to briefly joke about the "Sad Affleck" memes that came out of the press tour for the film. But on a more serious note, he credited the film as an opportunity to learn how these big blockbuster films are made.
I learned a ton actually, making that movie. I had not made a movie of that scale. I didn’t know what the technology was capable of doing nowadays. The last big blockbuster-y movies I made were like Armageddon in 1997... The technology had really changed the way those movies were made. It was fascinating and I learned a tremendous amount.
Affleck's talents as an actor and director have been undeniable in recent years, long before his time in the famed cowl. Surely the experience on set would have been more rewarding for Affleck if the film had people buzzing about the future of the DCEU and not scrutinizing every piece of news, but even with all that negativity, it is great to see he could find positive things to takeaway.
His experiences could pay off tremendously once he shifts gears to direct The Batman - should he officially step into the role of director. Even if he did not feel fully capable after BvS, an enhanced role on Justice League should prove beneficial as well. Affleck is serving as an executive producer on Justice League after all, so he may have been even more hands on in helping Zack Snyder deliver a great installment to the DC canon.
Hopefully, Affleck's comments are sincere and he is able to apply everything he learned on The Batman, but only time will tell if that turns out to be true. Still, even if he learned nothing about making installments in mega franchises before, Warner Bros., DC Films, and Affleck should be able to craft a team around him that can deliver the best Batman film possible. That is what he and everybody wants anyway, and should he be given the proper time, he should be able to do just that.
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018