Ever since the end of last month, it seems as if new rumors surrounding The Batman have become available on various blogs, trade sites, and social media. While Ben Affleck’s involvement with the Caped Crusader’s upcoming solo movie has been the center of much speculation, with some people suggesting that the reason he is no longer directing is due to the recent draft of the script that was turned in by Argo scribe Chris Terrio, Collider’s John Campea is now suggesting that Affleck wants to get out of the role completely.
During yesterday’s episode of Collider Movie Talk, the panel began discussing Matt Reeves’ negotiations to direct The Batman when the conversation suddenly segued into the topic of Affleck’s disinterest in playing the Dark Knight. “Ben Affleck, make no mistake, he wants out. He doesn’t want to be Batman anymore,” Campea said. However, please keep in mind that this is just pure speculation at the moment, with Campea himself even saying to take this rumor with “a grain of salt.”
Campea went on to add that Affleck is now in active negotiations with Warner Bros. to get out of his contract that includes multiple Batman appearances, including The Batman, which is scheduled to begin production by the end of the year. With active discussions ongoing at the studio, it appears that this could be Affleck’s last appearance as the superhero character if a deal cannot be reached by a particular point in time.
While it’s a tad disappointing to see that Affleck may not be as committed as he was a week or two ago when he issued a statement saying that he will “remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world,” while assisting the studio in their search for a new director, this project should be given to an actor who is fully invested in the role rather than someone who is just in it due to contractual obligations that may not have been able to get out of. In a separate statement, Warner Bros. mentioned that they fully support Affleck’s decision and remain “committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.”
The Batman was originally expected to hit theaters in 2018 but with the recent turn of events, Warner Bros. will be pushing the film back to 2019 as they continue to get development and pre-production issues under control.
Taika Waititi’s ‘Next Goal Wins’ rounds out its cast as production gets underway in Hawaii
Fox Searchlight announced Wednesday that it has acquired worldwide rights to Next Goal Wins, writer-director Taika Waititi’s follow-up to his World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, which opened in theaters last month.
Production is currently underway in Honolulu, Hawaii on the film, which stars Michael Fassbender and Elisabeth Moss and tells the story of the American Samoa soccer team, who suffered the most devastating loss in World Cup history, losing to Australia 31-0 in 2001. With the 2014 World Cup approaching, the team recruits a down on his luck, maverick coach (Fassbender) to help turn their fate around.
In addition to Fassbender and Moss, the film’s cast also includes the likes of Oscar Kightley, Beulah Koale, Lehi Falepapalangi, Uli Latukefu, Rachel House, and Kaimana in their debut role.
“I’ve just started production on my next film Next Goal Wins,” Waititi said in a statement. “We have such an amazing cast and crew behind this film, and I’m stoked to be partnering once again with the lovely people at Fox Searchlight Pictures.”
Waititi wrote the script for Next Goal Wins along with Iain Morris, based on the 2014 documentary of the same name. Jonathan Cavendish, Garrett Basch, and Waititi are producers, with Andy Serkis, Will Tennant, and Kathryn Dean executive producing.
“Taika is an incredible talent and master at bringing honesty and humanity to the surface in any story. We are thrilled to be working with him again on such an extraordinary true story of perseverance in the face of defeat. He has brought together a terrific group of actors, craftspeople and sports players to bring this unique story to life,” said Matthew Greenfield and David Greenbaum, presidents of production at Fox Searchlight.
Ben Affleck struggles with alcohol addiction, recovery in Gavin O’Connor’s ‘The Way Back’ trailer
Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for The Way Back, which finds director Gavin O’Connor reuniting with his The Accountant star Ben Affleck for what appears to be a heavier sort of sports drama that explores alcohol addiction and recovery.
Affleck stars here as Jack Cunningham, a one-time high school sports prodigy whose life is spiraling downward due to the alcoholism that cost him his marriage and any hope for a better life for himself.
However, Jack’s opportunity for a better life eventually comes when he’s asked to go back to his alma mater to coach the basketball team, which has been underperforming and desperately needs new leadership in order to succeed this season.
Slowly but surely, the team starts to get their act together and manages to start winning some games, proving Jack’s ability to coach, but whether that’s enough to help him cope with his addiction and set him on the road to redemption remains to be seen.
Brad Ingelsby scripted the film, which is produced by O’Connor along with Gordon Gray, Jennifer Todd, and Ravi Mehta. Al Madrigal, Michaela Watkins, Janina Gavankar, and Glynn Turman also star alongside Affleck.
The Way Back opens in theaters March 6, 2020.
Spike Lee to direct ‘Prince of Cats,’ a hip-hop retelling of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ set in the 1980s
Spike Lee has been set to direct Legendary’s adaptation of Prince of Cats, the graphic novel hip-hop retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet set in 1980s Brooklyn, New York, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lee will work with Prince of Cats author Ron Wimberly and screenwriter Selwyn Seyfu Hinds on rewriting the original draft of the script, which “is described as a 1980s hip-hop take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, with the tragic star-crossed love story seen through the eyes of Tybalt, Juliet’s angry and duel-loving cousin.”
Janet and Kate Zucker of Zucker Productions are producing the film, with Legendary’s Jon Silk and Ali Mendes overseeing the production for the studio. Casting is expected to get underway some time early next year.
Lee most recently directed last year’s BlacKkKlansman, which earned him a number of Oscar nominations — including Best Picture — and a win for Best Adapted Screenplay. He’s currently in post-production on the thriller Da 5 Bloods starring Chadwick Boseman.