There appears to be some behind-the-scenes shuffling taking place on the Justice League feature as Warner Bros. attempts to solidify its DC Comics cinematic universe in the wake of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Ben Affleck, who debuted his take on Batman a.k.a. Bruce Wayne in BvS has been named executive producer on the upcoming two-part DC Comics showdown. First reported by Deadline, the promotion of sorts is so Affleck can help support returning director Zack Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio (who won an Oscar for Affleck’s Argo) in steering the Justice League ship.
Affleck will return as Batman in the film, which is currently filming, teaming with Henry Cavill’s Superman, Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ezra Miller’s The Flash. While plot specifics are a closely guarded secret, suggestions have been made the crime-fighting team will team up to defeat Big Bad Darkseid in the two-part spectacle. Affleck’s elevated position on Justice League, may be considered both surprising and not. Late in the game role announcements like this don’t tend to happen on such event films, but Warner Bros. has for a while deemed Affleck an important talent to foster and his performance in BvS was one of the few things many critics admired, so this change may make a certain degree of sense. Furthermore, the studio is firmly supporting an Affleck-helmed standalone Batman vehicle.
While Batman v Superman has so far made upwards of $800 million at the worldwide box office, there’s reasons for Warner Bros. to be slightly aghast considering the critical vitriol thrown at the movie when it premiered last March. This elevated position for Affleck clearly seems an affirmation of that a nod for the studio to help right perceived wrongs. It may work too, considering Affleck’s recent output outside of performing has been very solid: for WB, Affleck directed the critical and box office hits The Town (2010) and the Oscar-winning Argo (2012) and recently directed the crime drama Live by Night for the studio.
Justice Part: Part One is slated to hit theaters on November 17, 2017.