Los Angeles: Years before Hollywood star Ben Affleck donned the Batsuit, there was a chance for him to wear the cape as Superman in a movie penned by his ”Mallrats” co-star and director Kevin Smith.
The actor-filmmaker, who worked with Affleck in the buddy comedy ”Mallrats”, has revealed that in the late 1990s Warner Bros was working on a new ”Superman” movie titled ”Superman Reborn”. Smith thought the screenplay was ”terrible” and that’s when he pitched his own movie based on ”The Death of Superman” comic series with Affleck as Superman and Michael Rooker as the villain Lex Luthor.
His script went into development with producer Jon Peters, but they ended up locking horns over casting.
”I was writing it for Affleck. Ben was heating up. Like he was there. I think he’d been hired for ‘Armageddon.’ Affleck, he’s a f***ing giant, like he’s built like a superhero, built like a giant action figure, particularly with the height. And then he puts on the muscles there too. So in my head and heart, it was always Ben and Michael Rooker,” Smith said in an appearance on Yahoo Entertainment’s ”The Never-Weres” series.
Producer Peters, on the other hand, wanted to cast Sean Penn as Superman, as the actor had then bagged an Academy Award nomination for best actor courtesy his role in the 1995 crime drama ”Dead Man Walking”.
”(Jon Peters) goes, ‘Look in (Penn’s) eyes in that movie, he’s (got) haunted eyes, the eyes of a killer’. And I was like, ‘Dude, it’s Superman. You know, that’s not how most people think of Superman’… But he wanted to reinvent it. ”He wanted something gritty, graphic and grownup. He essentially wanted like what Zack Snyder eventually did (in ‘Man of Steel’, ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Justice League’, which coincidentally featured Affleck as Batman opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman),” Smith recalled.
Director Tim Burton teamed up with Nicolas Cage for ”Superman Lives” , which eventually got cancelled. Meanwhile, Affleck is set to reprise the role of Batman in Warner Bros’ upcoming comic book tentpole ”The Flash”. Fronted by Ezra Miller, the film will be released on November 4, 2022.