Here’s the one thing DC definitely needs to do with The Batman when they finally get a creative team in place: make sure it has The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel in it.
Why? Because as time goes by, the Sadfleck (or Sad Affleck) meme seems to still be the perfect summary of how Ben Affleck (and, likely, most fans) feel about Batman’s role in the DCEU.
First, there was the moment when optimism and enthusiasm for Batman v Superman dropped like a stone, as critics railed against the finished movie.
Then, there was the constant battle that Affleck had to fight to keep Warner Bros from rushing the project. He refused to commit to directing the movie until the script he was writing was perfect, no matter how annoying fan demand for the movie became.
Now, pushed to the limit, Affleck has quit as director, and DC has reportedly already begun plans to throw out all of his hard work, including the script that he’d been working so hard on, in favor of starting over from scratch.
This is all a rumor at this stage, mind you, but coming from Mark Hughes of Forbes, it’s pretty believable stuff:
“…the project will undergo substantial changes and possible/probably another full rewrite. Warner Bros. is already speaking to several filmmakers about taking over in the director’s chair — including one of my personal longtime favorites to direct a Batman movie, Matt Reeves, who seems to be the frontrunner — and word is the project will essentially get a fresh start once a new creative team has been put together.”
Poor Ben Affleck. To see all your hard work thrown away by DC, simply because you wouldn’t toe the line and release a poorly planned movie?
As far as replacements go, there are worse choices than Matt Reeves. The director of two Planet of the Apes prequels, he’s proven that he can handle dark subject matter while still making a compelling, action-packed movie.
That said, what DC’s really after here is a Yes Man, who’ll do everything the studio requires in order to get this movie into theaters as soon as possible. Affleck left the project because he wasn’t being given the creative freedom he required in order to make an excellent movie, and it’s hardly probable that DC will give his replacement any more wriggle room.
So as Ben Affleck joins the increasingly large club of respected directors who’ve jumped from DC’s ship, and as The Batman potentially joins The Flash in getting a page one rewrite, there are few memes that better sum up all our feelings than Sadfleck.