Was I wrong?
I admit, I may have been a bit hasty with my prediction regarding people becoming sick of films and television shows based on comic books. As it turns out, networks and movies studios just keep clamoring for more. There’s even a show on now called Powerless about regular Joes and Janes who live in the DC universe. Who saw that coming?
Anyway, with a slate of superhero movies about to punch us all in the wallet, I suppose I should rescind my original argument… or rather I will postpone it. I do think we will eventually reach the point of oversaturation but I shouldn’t let my disdain for DC’s movies colour my opinion of Hollywood’s superhero output as a whole.
With that said, I still think DC’s film division is on a crash course.
Recent reports out of the DC camp have Ben Affleck stepping down as the director of the latest Batman de jour movie, stating he can’t concentrate on directing and starring in the movie, which he is also writing and producing. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give,” stated Affleck in a press release, which also noted Warner Brothers supported the decision.
Were I a less cynical person, I might believe such jibber jabber. Granted cynic, or not, I know Affleck won an Oscar for Argo, a movie he produced, directed, and starred in so I find his reasons for stepping down as the Batman director a little suspect.
If I had to guess, I would suggest he doesn’t want to direct something that could tarnish his reputation as a director. He’s already been through the critical wringer as an actor but his directing career remains somewhat spotless. Argo, Gone Baby Gone, and The Town were all solid movies and I don’t think he wants to tarnish what little artistic currency he possesses.
With at all that said, I think it would be artistically daring to take on such a project. While some may say donning Batman’s cowl after Christian Bale is a daunting task, I suggest taking the helm after Christopher Nolan is the real challenge. Nolan brought Batman back from the dead and I think anyone stepping into the director’s chair after him is going to feel immense pressure. You add to that pressure the beating Zack Snyder received for Batman V. Superman and you have several flashing warning signs that outshine the Bat signal.
So… who could do it? My answer, as always when it comes to who should direct anything, is Quenton Tarantino. Actually no, forget that. Tarantino would kill it as a Batman director but he’s only got a few films left before he retires so let him do his own stuff.
Go with his buddy, Kevin Smith. Calm down, hear me out. Smith loves comic books. Smith loves movies. Smith loves Affleck. I think he could do something interesting, which is a better adjective than I have ever used to describe the DC movies of the last four years. Smith is already directing DC television shows. I have to think they are grooming him for something down the road and a Batman film could be it.
Plus, the guy doesn’t care about the pressure. If the movie fails, he goes back to doing what he is doing now. If it succeeds, he’ll probably still go back to doing what he is doing, which is making movies and television on his own terms and that is just the sort of guy DC needs, not only for this movie but the entire scheduled slate of films.
(Taking off my fanboy hat.)
Yes, I know studio heads will never let Smith near a major property. Yes, I know he probably wouldn’t be interested. Yes, I know Smith couldn’t even get Clerks 3 off the ground.
Still, I can wish, right?
I’m done now.