Ben Affleck Stepping into the DC Director’s Chair; Could Nightwing Be His First Project?

by Matt Tuck

122822A-1024x536 Ben Affleck Stepping into the DC Director's Chair; Could Nightwing Be His First Project?The Snyder-verse may be dead and buried, but that doesn’t mean Ben Affleck is leaving DC quite yet. Instead of sporting the cape and cowl, he may be in the director’s chair. That speculation should have immediate impact on Tales of the Teen Titans #44.

EXIT, STAGE RIGHT

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Following the massive heartbreak that was Henry Cavill’s exit from James Gunn’s DCU, the writing has been on the wall for Zack Snyder’s Justice League cast. First came word that Jason Momoa could be interested in putting away his Aquaman role in favor of Lobo. Just before Gunn announced he would cast a new Superman, news spread that Wonder Woman 3 had been canceled, leaving questions about Gal Gadot’s DCU future.

And then there’s Batman.

Prior to the Justice League Zack Snyder Cut’s release, Affleck was in talks to write, direct, and star in a Batman feature film. When creative conflicts arose between him and WB, he chose to step down as the Caped Crusader. Just when it seemed he was long gone, the studio announced he would reprise the role for The Flash alongside another Batman actor, Michael Keaton. Not only that, but we also catch a glimpse of Batfleck in the Shazam: Fury of the Gods trailer, leading to speculation that Affleck was 100% back in the DCU. 

Unfortunately, it appears The Flash (and possibly Shazam: FOTG, depending on how much we see of Batman in that one) will be Affleck’s swan song, at least in front of the camera. For the past 20 years, the star has proven himself as a masterful director. After his work on 2012’s Argo, he was nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards. Although he did not win the Oscar for directing, his film managed to snag Best Picture honors. That’s precisely why Gunn is interested in hiring Affleck as a writer and director for a future DC Studios project.

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Matt Reeves has reinvented Gotham City, so Affleck will likely stay away from Batman, but that doesn’t mean he can’t take his talents to Bludhaven. Speculation is brewing that he would be perfect for a Nightwing feature film. While that’s merely fancasting at the moment, it could lead buyers to the doorstep of Dick Grayson’s first appearance in his famous role.

TALES OF THE TEEN TITANS #44

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Far be it from me to criticize the legendary George Perez on his artistic choices, but I’ve always had questions about Nightwing’s original costume. Did he mug a figure skater on the way to a disco? With that collar and open-neck design, he could have pulled off a figure eight and done some funky dance moves without missing a beat. Thank God for the redesign in 1992.

Certainly, Nightwing’s debut on the hit show, Titans, has helped usher this issue to the front of the line in recent months. However, putting the character on the silver screen for his own movie franchise is a different ballgame entirely. If Affleck were to write and direct a possible Nightwing movie with an A-list actor in the role, the roof would come off Tales of the Teen Titans #44. That means it could be time to role the dice on a copy, and now would be a good time to invest. Although the graded 9.8 has averaged $500 for the past year, it’s been selling for less than $400 in recent month. 

COULD NIGHTWING BE THE FUTURE?

By no means is there any replacing Batman, and Gunn has made it clear that he wants to focus plenty of attention on the Dark Knight, yet the future of the DCU’s dark and gritty vigilantes could be Nightwing. Fans have waited decades for him to get the spotlight in his own movie, and this would be the right time to make that happen. I don’t see Gunn passing up such a golden opportunity for what could be a massive hit franchise.

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