Ben Affleck’s Batman Movie Covered “80 Years” of Unexplored “Mythos,” Insider Says

“I can't really say too much other than it was fucking awesome. It was the best. It was amazing.”

Originally Published: 
Ben Affleck as Batman
Warner Bros
The Inverse Interview

Aside from Zack Snyder and a handful of studio executives, Jay Oliva may know more about DC’s original plans for a cinematic universe than almost anyone. As a storyboard artist, he worked on major DCEU movies including Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and Wonder Woman. He also directed some of DC’s best animated films, like The Dark Knight Returns and Flashpoint Paradox. But it’s the movies that never saw the light of day that get him the most excited.

Oliva is a wealth of knowledge on pretty much everything DC (up until he parted ways with the company in 2017), and that includes Ben Affleck’s scuttled Batman movie, which remains shrouded in mystery even six years after the actor walked away from the project.

“I can't really say too much other than it was fucking awesome,” Oliva tells Inverse. “It was the best. It was amazing.”

Despite being unable to go into specific plot details, Oliva was able to share a bit more about the Batfleck movie that never was. Here’s what he revealed...

Ben Affleck as Batman.

Warner Bros.

Beyond his storyboard responsibilities, Oliva served as a sort of consultant across the DCEU thanks to his deep knowledge of the general source material and the Flash, in particular. Those duties extended to Affleck’s planned Batman movie, though he wasn’t brought onboard until the project was already in active development.

“From my understanding, there were a couple of drafts of it,” Oliva recalls. “When I was brought on, I don't know whether it was the second draft or something, but it was what Geoff Johns and Ben [Affleck] had shown me.”

“It was tying together a lot of really cool Batman storylines that had never been really explored.”

Again, Oliva couldn’t go into much detail, but he tried his best to explain what he liked so much about the script he read.

“I've worked on a lot of Batman things and what was really cool about it was, it was tying together a lot of really cool Batman storylines that had never been really explored,” he says.

While other Batman movies may borrow from classic comics (Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins loosely adapted the Frank Miller comic arc Batman: Year One, for example, and Snyder’s Batman v Superman riffs on Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns), Affleck’s take on the Caped Crusader was even more ambitious.

“Ben's story was gonna cover something that had never really been covered in comics but was building off of storylines in the Batman mythos over the last 80 years and approaching it from a new kind of perspective,” Oliva reveals.

Justice League (2017)

Warner Bros

There’s a hint of sadness hidden under Oliva’s unbridled enthusiasm for Affleck’s unrealized Batman movie. And while his time working on the DCEU is full of exciting concepts that never saw the light of day, it’s clear he sees this film as perhaps the franchise’s biggest missed opportunity.

“It was very clever and there were a lot of things about it that I really loved that I wish that had come to fruition,” Oliva says. “It was a really great project in the beginning. Ben had to step away for personal reasons, and I totally understood, but the time that I spent with Ben working on the project was fantastic.”

“Maybe someday I can spill the beans,” he adds, “but I still can't talk about it.”

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