Before Batman takes on Superman, we’re looking back at some key Ben Affleck movies
Ben Affleck’s Hollywood career has run like a theme park ride, with tremendous highs and devastating lows. After breaking through with Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, Affleck steadily became one of the go-to leading men in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. But his fortunes changed for the worse around 2003, and few thought that Affleck could recover from those setbacks.
While Affleck worked steadily, it took him years before he fully reinvented himself as an actor and a director in The Town and Argo. Now, Affleck is once again one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and he’s headlining the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Bruce Wayne/Batman. It’s also been heavily rumored that Affleck may co-write and direct a new Batman movie.
Ahead of Batman v Superman’s release on March 25, ComingSoon.net is taking a look back at the major movie milestones from Affleck’s filmography, including a few that he would probably rather forget!
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Glory Daze (1995)
Glory Daze is probably not anyone’s idea of a comedy classic, but it was one of the first times that Affleck headlined an ensemble film. Affleck played Jack Freeman, a graduating college student who lived with his four best friends. Sam Rockwell, French Stewart, Vien Hong, and Vinnie DeRamus portrayed the roommates of Affleck’s character as they all confronted the question of what to do with their lives after college.
As a side note, future True Blood star Kristin Bauer also appeared in Glory Daze as Dina, the ex-girlfriend of Affleck’s character.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Chasing Amy (1997)
While Affleck had a supporting role in Kevin Smith’s previous film, Mallrats, Chasing Amy put Affleck in the lead as Holden McNeil, a struggling comic book creator who falls for another comic book artist named Alyssa Jones (Joey Lauren Adams). Undeterred by the fact that Alyssa was a lesbian, Holden actually formed a romantic relationship with her before allowing it to self-destruct over his own insecurities about her past.
It’s still one of the best films that Smith or Affleck have ever made.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good Will Hunting is largely regarded as Matt Damon’s breakout role as the title character; and the film also helped Robin Williams earn his only Oscar as Sean Maguire, the man who helps Will Hunting get past his emotional issues. But this was a film that Affleck and Damon co-wrote; and Affleck also co-starred in it as Will Hunting’s best friend, Chuckie Sullivan.
To the surprise of many industry observers, Good Will Hunting was a box office hit. At the Oscars, Affleck and Damon also picked up the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Daredevil (2003)
Ben Affleck was doing superhero movies before they were cool! The problem is that director Mark Steven Johnson’s Daredevil wasn’t very faithful to the source material… and it just wasn’t a very good movie. Affleck played Matt Murdock opposite his future wife, Jennifer Garner; who portrayed Elektra. Iron Man director played Foggy Nelson, with Colin Farrell as Bullseye.
There are certainly worse superhero movies than Daredevil, and the director’s cut was an improvement on the original version. It did well enough to spawn an Elektra spinoff film, before Fox let the rights to Daredevil revert back to Marvel.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Gigli (2003)
Right around this time, Affleck was frequently in tabloids because of his romance with Jennifer Lopez. “Bennifer” was so overexposed that a backlash was inevitable. Affleck and Lopez had the misfortune of co-starring together in Gigli, which epically tanked at the box office as one of the all-time bombs. Affleck and Lopez played a pair of mobsters, Larry Gigli and “Ricky,” who became romantically involved. Oh yeah, Ricky was a lesbian too… until she met Gigli.
Let’s be clear, Gigli is a pretty bad movie by any standard, but the hate it received seemed like more like a reaction to “Bennifer” than to the movie itself. Affleck and Lopez eventually broke up, and this was the point when some people actually thought that Affleck’s career as a star was over.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Hollywoodland (2006)
If you look back on Affleck’s resume, you can hardly tell how far his standing had fallen because he still worked consistently. Hollywoodland was another small step back towards the respectability that Affleck previously had. His role in this film was George Reeves, the actor who starred in the Adventures of Superman TV series in the ’50s.
The real-life Reeves felt trapped by the role of Superman and he died under tragic circumstances, as fictionalized in this movie.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: The Town (2010)
While Gone Baby Gone was Affleck’s directorial debut, The Town was the first film in which he directed himself as an actor. Affleck played Doug MacRay, a bank robbery who grew close to one of his victims, Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall) while attempting to learn if she could identify him and the rest of his friends as the robbers.
The Town was a nearly a blockbuster, and it garnered good reviews for Affleck and his co-star, Jeremy Renner. It also helped pave the way for Affleck’s next directorial gig.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Argo (2012)
During the Iran hostage crisis in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, CIA operative Tony Mendez led an inventive plan to smuggle Americans out of Iran by using a fake sci-fi film as a cover story. Argo was the fictionalized account of that story, and the name of the fake film within the movie. Affleck portrayed Tony Mendez alongside an impressive cast that included Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, and Tate Donovan.
While Affleck wasn’t nominated in the acting or directing categories, he didn’t leave empty handed on Oscar night. Argo was named 2012’s Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Gone Girl (2014)
Affleck’s earlier experience with the tabloids made him the perfect choice to lead the adaptation of Gone Girl. Affleck portrayed Nick Dunne, a man whose wife disappeared under suspicious circumstances… which soon causes the media to give him unwanted attention as he struggles with the pressure.
This was one of Affleck’s best performances, but he was once again snubbed by the Oscars in the acting category.
Ben Affleck Movies Spotlight: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
After Daredevil, it would be easy to understand if Affleck didn’t want to play a superhero again. But this time, Affleck is playing one of the greatest superheroes of all-time: Batman. In Batman v Superman, Bruce Wayne/Batman has a vendetta against Superman/Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) over the events depicted in Man of Steel. Considering that we know, Superman and Batman will eventually team up in Justice League – their war can’t last beyond this movie. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t make a lot of money as we watch two iconic superheroes beat the crap out of each other![Gallery not found]