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A Complete History of Ben Affleck Playing (and NOT Playing) Batman

Another Dark Knight (Movie) Rises?

October 2014: Warner Bros. rolls out its ambitious plan for what becomes widely referred to as the DC Extended Universe, kicking off in 2016 with the release of Batman v Superman. What was initially a 10-movie slate has fluctuated dramatically, with planned features like The Batman added later, while others, like a Justice League sequel, seemingly fading from sight.

July 2015: The first report surfaces that Affleck is collaborating with Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment's chief creative officer, on a script for a Batman standalone film, with Affleck pegged to also star and direct. Affleck finally confirms they're working together on "something" eight months later,

July 2015: The actor publicly tries out his Bat-voice, declaring "I'm Batman!" in a video recorded from the set of The Accountant.

October 2015: Five months before Batman v Superman arrives in theaters, the rumor mill is already churning about the Affleck/Johns Batman film, which at this point is said to draw influence from the DC Comics storylines "Death in the Family" and "Under the Hood."

Dawn of Justice ... and a New Meme

sad affleck

November 2015: Affleck admits there's "a ton of pressure" for Batman v Superman to succeed: "I mean I would be bullshiting you to say there isn’t [...] We are a very kind of instant gratification culture when it comes to analyzing the film business. And there is a lot of hyperbole involved. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of pressure on it. If it doesn’t do well, that will be extremely disappointing.”

March 2016: Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens domestically to $166 million, seemingly overcoming an avalanche of negative reviews. But poor word of mouth apparently caught up with the film, as its box-office receipts dropped 69 percent in its second weekend of release. It ends its global run with $873.6 million, short of what Warner Bros. executives had hoped.

March 2016: Affleck defends Batman v Superman against criticism with a familiar refrain, saying, “We’re not going for the film critic circle. This is an audience movie. People actually like this movie.”

March 2016: Affleck appears alongside co-star Henry Cavill in an interview that rapidly becomes the stuff of Internet legend. With some ingenious editing, and the addition of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence," "Sad Affleck" is born. Asked months later what a big-budget production like Batman v Superman taught him as a director and actor, Affleck joked, "It taught me not to do interviews with Henry Cavill where I don't say anything and they can lay Simon & Garfunkel tracks over it. That's one thing I learned."

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