Next year will be huge for fans of both Marvel and DC Comics, with each studio launching two huge movies apiece. Marvel's Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016) will start the studio's Phase Three initiative, while Warner Bros. kick starts their own DC Comics Extended Universe with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25, 2016). At the heart of the DCEU is Ben Affleck's Batman, a character who will share the screen with Superman (Henry Cavill) for the first time ever. Variety recently caught up with Ben Affleck, who acknowledges that there is an immense amount of pressure for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to succeed.
"I think there is a ton of pressure on it. I mean I would be bulls-ting you to say there isn't. You'll see next year they are going to have a great year. They are now developing probably the single greatest under-exploited IP asset in the entertainment business, the DC Comic world. And now they have started to exploit that and you are going to see that blossom. And, when it does, it's going to be massive."
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is coming at the perfect time for Warner Bros., after a disappointing year at the box office that included a string of big-budget failures such as Jupiter Ascending, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Magic Mike XXL and Entourage. Then again, there have been reports that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice may also be the most expensive movie of all time, with the budget ballooning to nearly $410 million, a figure which has not yet been confirmed. Regardless of the pressure and the massive budget, Ben Affleck revealed how impressed he was with Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, and the notes he gave on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
"I was really impressed by that and by the intelligence of his notes, and the fact that he cared. It was not like some guys, especially at that level, where it would be, 'We need a franchise movie ... we just need a movie with the names Batman and Superman on it and it doesn't matter what it is. For him, that wasn't it. He was willing to take longer to make the movie to get it right to make it a movie of higher quality."
Variety also reports that the actor/filmmaker has rearranged his schedule to accommodate the rumored Batman spinoff, allegedly entitled The Batman, which Ben Affleck is rumored to be directing, starring in and co-writing with Geoff Johns. The actor will also start shooting Justice League Part 1 next spring. While the actor/filmmaker admits that there is a lot of pressure to succeed, he adds that it will be quite the let-down if Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice falls flat.
"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."
After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Warner Bros. will release Suicide Squad (August 5, 2016), which is currently in post-production. In 2017, the studio will release Wonder Woman (June 23, 2017) and Justice League Part 1 (November 11, 2017), followed by The Flash (March 23, 2018), Aquaman (July 27, 2018), Shazam! (April 5, 2019), Justice League Part 2 (June 14, 2019), Cyborg (April 3, 2020) and Green Lantern Corps. (June 19, 2020). What do you think about these new details?