As we’ve covered Chris Nolan’s Batman series about as extensively as any other website on the web over the last five and a half years, I regularly get a ton of emails and questions (presumably from first time readers who have found old articles) about the franchise and this year a regular seems to be – “Who would you like to see direct the Batman series after Chris Nolan?”.
For many years my answer was always, Michael Mann or David Fincher. But lately a third name has been tagged on to the end of that response and I now say Michael Mann or David Fincher but watch out for an up and coming director who has only made two movies, a guy by the name of Ben Affleck. He’s gonna be huge!
Having suffered a career downfall like few actors in recent memory just under ten years ago before coming back in a huge way behind-the-camera for his crime thrillers Gone, Baby, Gone and The Town, Affleck is seriously kicking ass and taking names. He is currently in the midst of directing his most ambitious project to date Argo, a middle east thriller about the 1979 hostage crisis in Tehran, a movie he will also star in.
As much as Warner Bros are happy to help Affleck with these personal projects because they turn a profit, they would much rather turn him into the next Chris Nolan or Zack Snyder and have him working on their big projects. So this news isn’t at all surprising…
Deadline reports that Warner Bros have made a third big play to him to direct a franchise movie (remember he turned down Man of Steel and Gangster Squad last year) in offering him the job of directing the multi-film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1,100 page apocalyptic 1978 tome The Stand.
As recently as two months ago this was to be a project that would reunite latter day Harry Potter director David Yates and his screenwriter Steve Kloves but Deadline don’t mention either of them at all. It feels like Fleming had about thirty seconds to write his latest update or he isn’t sure himself what happened but I can’t imagine WB dropped them both as they were setting up The Stand to be one of several Harry Potter replacements and who better than those two?
The Stand is a post-apocalyptic novel where a plague nicknamed Captain Trips has caused mass devastation to the planet, wiping out almost everyone. The novel focuses on the rag-tag group of survivors who share dreams of a mysterious evil being and they team-up, forming a community, to try and rid them of it. It’s an awesome novel and birthed a pretty cool mini-series in the 90s with Gary Sinise but it was always limited by it’s medium and with a big scale budget and someone as resourceful as Affleck, the possibilites are truly endless.
The question now is will Affleck accept the offer? He turned down both Superman (which by the way is a property he loves and once would have made a great actor to wear the costume, and kind of did when he played George Reeves in Hollywoodland) and a period gangster blockbuster to continue crafting his filmography his way. So it’s early days….
Affleck will be busy on Argo until at least late-summer so he if he does sign on we are probably about 12 months away from when filming could conceivably begin. He’s a helluva storyteller and working from one of the finest stories from a MASTER storyteller in King is a very exciting prospect…