If you want to see Ben Affleck's cold indifference to playing Batman, all you have to do is randomly select a single frame of his face from any of the three movies wherein he donned the iconic cape and cowl and had to work his way through Zack Snyder's Zack Snyderness.
So it makes sense that when he was given the opportunity to write and direct his own Bat-flick, he'd apply his Oscar-winning talents to give himself material that could actually maintain his interest (and dignity) in the role. While that movie never came together, the planned cinematographer on this lost Batman film, two-time Academy Award winner Robert Richardson, offered some small glimpses into what we were in store for while on the Happy Sad Confused podcast ... And it actually sounds kind of rad.
Richardson describes a Batman movie taking place partly in Arkham Asylum, which would've used the setting to tackle the question of whether Bruce Wayne is just as batty as the people he locks in it. While Arkham has had some pretty iconic moments in comics and TV, and even had a entire genre-changing video game series, the famed old-timey loony bin and all of its complicated mythos has essentially been reduced to making cameo appearances in the various movies. And that's a damn shame.
The various films tend to present an ideal version of Batman. He's the hero who swoops in and saves the day, saves the city, saves the Martha, etc., while hardly any time is devoted to taking a deep dive into the mind of the guy who dresses up as an armored bat to beat the hell out of the mentally ill. Affleck was planning to deliver what could have been a fascinating deep dive into Bruce Wayne's psyche. If he was going to spend a year and a half of his life making a Batman movie, he was at least going to give himself some meatier material than "makes a poop face at Henry Cavill, end scene."
But due to a mixture of Justice League bombing and Warner Bros. having the attention span of a golden retriever, the movie fell apart. They left Affleck at the Bat-irement home with Clooney and Kilmer to trade horror stories about their dark knight years, while fans are left with what-ifs.
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