Ben Affleck to Direct Solo Batman Movie

Coming off the heels of his wonderful take on the Caped Crusader (murdering proclivity aside), Warner Bros has announced that Ben Affleck will star and direct a standalone Batman movie. This is possibly the same project he mentioned he was working on with DC Creative Wunderkind Geoff Johns. Y'know, Geoff Johns who worked for Richard "Superman I" Donner. The guy who spent his early years revitalizing DC characters. But even better BEN AFFLECK IS DIRECTING IT (file this under "Things you never thought you'd say in 2003"). 

Ben Affleck, who won a Best Screenplay Oscar in 1997.

Ben Affleck, who won a Best Picture Oscar in 2012. 

Ben Affleck, who directed Argo and the Town.

Ben Affleck, who crushed it in Hollywoodland

Ben Affleck, who has won SAG, Director's Guild, Golden Globes, and BAFTA awards for his filmmaking. 

This guy, who brought in fellow Academy Award winner Chris Terrio, will be working with Geoff Johns. And no David Goyer or Zack Snyder. Oh yeah, and JK Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

The guy whose performance as Batman has garnered him more wide-spread good will than his performance in almost anything else (....more good will than Goodwill Hunting? I'm sorry). 

Personally, I'm thrilled. I respect and really enjoy his directorial efforts, and I think he gets the perfect takes when he's directing himself. His Batman -- especially the brutal warehouse fight scene -- was probably my favorite part of Batman v Superman - a weathered Batman who has seen far too much of Gotham's underworld during a 20-year career, haunted by things he's done and things he perceives that he must do. A good Batman is a tortured Batman.

I think this will do wonders for the DC Cinematic Universe, as I hope Affleck takes a more intimate approach with the character. We need to see a Batman that annihilates injustice in a ballet of physical  destruction, but the character also soars when in a noir setting that requires intense detection. One that could involve more organized crime and less over-the-top villains. 

Even if Suicide Squad hits all the right notes (and we're thinking that it just may), this movie could be the crown jewel in DC and Warner Bros' new shared cinematic universe.