Former Batman star Ben Affleck thinks that movie theaters will only be for Marvel films and other big franchises in the future.
2020 was not a kind year for the film industry. Just about every major release was either postponed or sent directly to a streaming service due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Even throughout 2021, many films also saw a move to streaming or On-Demand services and those that remained did not make nearly as much money as they would have in 2019. While there have been success stories like Spider-Man: No Way Home, the diminishing returns and the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of slowing down indicates that this could possibly be a new norm. Even former Batman actor Ben Affleck seems to think this is the case.
Recently a conversation between Batman star Ben Affleck and his longtime friend and collaborator Matt Damon was released by Entertainment Weekly where they talked about this very issue. In this very same discussion, Affleck revealed that it was Matt Damon who convinced him to leave the role of Batman. More distressing for the actor, however, was how the dynamic of the industry was changing and how other projects like Agro probably wouldn’t have made it in theaters today:
“I will say, when The Way Back came out, it was released the week they closed the theaters [for the pandemic]. But even before then I knew this movie about grief and a child dying and alcoholism and recovery is just not going to get adults in the seats. We were just talking about Narcos: Mexico, Succession, Mare of Easttown. There’s these amazing things being done on streamers. Roma! It’s not just some formulaic TV procedural like when we were kids. And you could only watch it like my dad, on an 11-inch black-and-white TV.”
If I had to bet, a drama like Argo would not be made theatrically now. That wasn’t that long ago. It would be a limited series. I think movies in theaters are going to become more expensive, event-ized. They’re mostly going to be for younger people, and mostly about ‘Hey, I’m so into the Marvel Universe, I can’t wait to see what happens next.’ And there’ll be 40 movies a year theatrically, probably, all IP, sequel, animated.”
The former Batman star then stated that it was The Last Duel that was the final nail in the coffin for him in regards to where the industry was going:
“The Last Duel really clinched it for me. I’ve had bad movies that didn’t work and I didn’t blink. I know why people didn’t go — because they weren’t good. But I liked what we did. I like what we had to say. I’m really proud of it. So I was really confused. And then to see that it did well on streaming, I thought, ‘Well, there you go. That’s where the audience is.'”
The Ben Affleck version of Batman was last seen in the Zack Snyder cut of Justice League, which premiered on HBO Max in March 2021. Here is the official synopsis for the movie:
“In ZACK SNYDER’S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.”
Directed by Zack Snyder, Justice League stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons, and Ciarán Hinds.
Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and streaming exclusively on HBO Max. Stay tuned for all the latest news on the future of the character and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.
Source: Entertainment Weekly