Affleck : Why I turned down Superman


Before Zack Snyder got the gig, well before Robert Zemeckis was approached, and just after Mark Millar tried to plead security for a walk-on, Ben Affleck was approached by Warner Bros to direct “Man of Steel”, the new Superman.

Affleck (who played Superman portrayer George Reeves in “Hollywoodland”, above) had just given Warner Bros one of their most commercial and critical hits of the year with “The Town” at the time, so understandably, a  jovial Jeff Robinov pretty much offered up everything but the keys to the on-site Starbucks to the Bostonian.

Among the WB chief’s offers, the chance for the actor cum director to direct a cinematic reboot of the popular DC Comics series.

Affleck passed on the offer, and this weekend, in an interview with Deadline, revealed why.

DEADLINE: Your films display an understanding of the under-class, and the working class and through that you’ve established your wheelhouse. Then there were rumors you considered directing Superman, which went to Zack Snyder. What factors do you consider in where to go next? Do you need to do a mega–budget film as a director?
AFFLECK: The one benefit of having done all kinds of movies as an actor is, you learn the pros and cons of being tempted to do a really big movie because it costs a lot of money. With Superman, I think they’re going to do a great version. Chris Nolan is brilliant and they’ve got a great director for it. I’ve love to do something like Blade Runner, but a lesson I’ve learned is to not look at movies based on budget, how much they’ll spend on effects, or where they will shoot. Story is what’s important. Also, there are a lot of guys ahead of me on the list to do epic effects movies.

Affleck serves up a rather convoluted answer there but he essentially says he’s not confident directing a film that would be largely special effects, and instead prefers to do character pieces. He also suggests he was only one of a bunch of guys that were being considered the job. Of course, he might also be being modest.

Meantime, though it’s been suggested that casting hasn’t yet begun, a fresh face has emerged as a potential frontrunner for the role of Superman in Snyder’s “Man of Steel”, Anderson Davis.

ComicBookMovie spoke to Anderson who confirmed that he is interested in the gig but doesn’t state whether he’s met with anyone yet to discuss the possibility of donning cerise undies.

The actor says, should he get the gig, he would try and play the character a little differently to his predecessors.

“Though I love Reeve’s portrayal I would try to take it down another path, Superman is such an iconic character who has a foundation of based beliefs, keeping that foundation but not being afraid to explore the possibilities of the character would be a lot of fun. Superman was also a human, therefore he was flawed. I think to see him as a perfect being all the time just makes the character lack reality. He needs true human emotion, be a person we can relate to and that same to look up to as our hero.”