It is no secret that it is a very good time to be a Star Wars fan. Not only are we getting a lot of new Star Wars movies, which started off last year with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Disney is putting a lot of money, resources and talent into these new movies. As it turns out, with a couple of degrees of speculation, Ben Affleck may have been a talent that they were trying to recruit to direct a Star Wars movie.
Affleck was recently a guest on Bill Simon's new HBO show Any Given Wednesday, and thanks to a very profane rant about Deflategate, a few things from the interview were sort of buried. One of those things being that Affleck passed on an opportunity to take on an iconic property, which he ultimately passed on in favor of taking on Batman. When asked point blank by Simons if he almost directed a Star Wars movie, this is what Affleck had to say.
"Well, it wouldn't be polite to talk about the jobs you turn down, but I had a lot of offers. It's like, forks in the road that are, like, legitimate different paths. Boy, my life's going to be really different if I go this way, or do Batman, or I do this other... iconic thing."
Affleck has become one of the most sought after talents behind the camera in Hollywood these days, after his first three efforts were increasingly massive successes. So, when Disney was looking to fill the director's chair for Star Wars Episode VII, it would make total sense that Affleck's name would at least come up in those conversations, and there were rumors that he was in the running for the job. Based on his statements, it look like he may have very well straight up passed on the opportunity to direct The Force Awakens.
The prospect of Affleck directing a Star Wars movie is at the very least, super interesting and quite possibly very tantalizing, but being that Warner Bros. and DC are in direct competition with Disney and Marvel right now, that seems like it probably won't ever happen. The job, of course, ultimately went to J.J. Abrams, and by most accounts, that turned out to be a very great decision. We recently learned via an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that Steven Spielberg actually had to convince Abrams to take the job.
"I brought J.J.'s name up. I thought J.J. would be the best person to direct Episode 7 and I called J.J. and said 'Would you do it if it was offered to you?' He said, 'I would but my wife won't let me 'cause she doesn't want me to restart any more franchises.' But I went to Kathy and asked if I could get J.J. to say yes to this would you consider it? Kathy said 'Are you kidding? Of course I would. But why would J.J. do Star Wars; he's already done Mission Impossible and Star Trek.'"
Affleck is currently busy playing Batman again in Justice League and after that, he will be moving on to direct The Batman for Warner Bros., which is ultimately what he decided to do instead of whatever "iconic" franchise he passed up. Given the timeline, it is very likely that Star Wars was that franchise. The real question is, given Affleck's history with movies he directs, what part would he have played in The Force Awakens? That may be an alternate universe we would like to visit sometime. You can watch the entire interview with Ben Affleck on Any Given Wednesday in the video below.