UPDATE: Collider‘s Steve Weintraub is reporting Ben Affleck was NOT offered the Flashpoint director job. The original article follows.
Ben Affleck was approached to The Flash movie Flashpoint, but the DC Films Batman actor passed on the offer. A solo film for Ezra Miller’s iteration of Barry Allen (who made his proper debut in last year’s Justice League), the project has had troubles locking a director down. Not too long after original helmer Seth Grahame-Smith exited the project, Rick Famuyiwa was set to replace him, only to eventually step down himself due to creative differences with Warner Bros./DC. Flashpoint has now found new directors in the forms of Spider-Man: Homecoming co-writers, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. The timing of the news suggests that Flashpoint may indeed be aiming for a 2020 release date target.
However, even as Flashpoint takes a step forward, Affleck’s future in the DC Films universe remains as nebulous as ever. After debuting as the Bat of Gotham in Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck went on to play a small supporting role in Suicide Squad, and followed that up a year later with another leading role in Justice League, where he exhibited great chemistry with Miller in a mentor-mentee relationship between Batman and The Flash. As it were though, the pair’s collaborations together won’t extend to behind the camera on Flashpoint.
Tracking Board‘s Jeff Sneider revealed the news about Affleck and Flashpoint through his Twitter account. According to Sneider, Affleck was one of the people that Warner Bros. Pictures approached to direct Flashpoint, but the Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker turned the offer down. Robert Zemeckis has been the reported front-runner to helm Flashpoint for the last several months, but Sneider claims the studio looked elsewhere once it decided that it no longer wanted to wait for him to become available.
Affleck was originally planning to direct and star in a solo Batman movie titled simply The Batman, but he ultimately stepped down and was replaced by filmmaker Matt Reeves (War For the Planet of the Apes). It has been rumored for most of the past year that Affleck is planning to step away from the DC Films franchise altogether in the near future, though he is expected to appear in at least one more DC Comics adaptation before he does.
Based on recent reports that Reeves is recasting the role of Batman for his solo movie, it would appear that another DC Film altogether will serve as Affleck’s final bow as the Caped Crusader. The reality-altering nature of the Flashpoint storyline would allow WB/DC to soft reboot its shared movie universe, and in the process recast the role of Batman. Based on previous reports indicating that Affleck will play Batman for the last time in Flashpoint, that might explain why WB/DC approached him about possibly directing the film himself, in addition to costarring in it.
For the time being, however, Affleck’s future in the DC Films universe remains as big a mystery as ever, and that includes his potential involvement as a cast member in Flashpoint. Many still believe that The Flash movie will play a part in the heavily rumored Batman casting switch, and this latest update on the project does nothing to dispute that. Flashpoint is also expected to include a role for Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, like its source material does, and possibly a whole lot of other major DC Films players too, depending on how things shake out.
Source: Tracking Board
Update Source: Steve Weintraub
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