The director absolutely wanted to direct his friend in the role of the superhero, without success.
Inaugural guest of the show The Never-Weres launched by Yahoo entertainment, filmmaker Kevin smith spoke of his dreamed and unfinished film Superman. A film titled Superman Lives *, written especially for Ben affleck in the role, long before he donned the Batman costume for Zack Snyder.
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Smith recounts that after turning The Glanders with Affleck in 1995, he had succeeded in convincing Warner Bros. to take it to writing for a movie about Superman. A big fan of comics, the filmmaker has a very particular vision of the superhero, which he hopes to show on screen, with Ben Affleck in the lead role. “I was writing it for Affleck”, Smith said, adding that the actor was starting his ascent in cinema, having been hired to Armageddon. “Affleck, he’s a fucking giant, like he’s built like a superhero, built like a giant figurine, especially around the waist. And then he’s building up muscles too. So in my head and my heart. , it’s always been Ben and Michael Rooker. “ The director sees Rooker (Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy) as Lex Luthor, a vision not shared by the film’s producer, Jon Peters, and resulted in the project going downhill.
Because even if Kevin Smith and Jon Peters agree on the scenario, which will evolve around the series of comics Superman’s death, the cast does not pass: the producer wanted Sean Penn in the role of Superman, the actor having just been nominated for the Oscar for best actor for his performance in The last step. He would have said to her: “Look at Penn’s eyes in this movie, he’s got haunted eyes, killer eyes”, to which Kevin Smith replied “Dude, it’s Superman. You know, that’s not how most people think of Superman.” An answer that was not enough for Peters. “He wanted to reinvent it. He wanted something squeaky, graphic and grown-up. He basically wanted what Zack Snyder ultimately did.” with Henry Cavill in the costume of the Kryptonian.
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After sending two drafts, Kevin Smith is finally replaced by Tim Burton behind the camera, and Ben Affleck leaves his place to Nicolas Cage (for another unfinished version, detailed here). The actor will finally play Batman, a sort of alter ego of Superman, in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice by Zack Snyder released in 2016. He will also put on the mask one last time in The Flash November 2, 2022.
*Note : the photo at the top of the article is not taken from Superman lives, but of Hollywoodland, a film released in 2007 where Affleck played George Reeves, the famous interpreter of Superman in the series of the 50s: The Adventures of Superman.
Ben Affleck did his “best Batman” in The Flash