Before Ben Affleck donned the cowl in 2016, the actor could've portrayed another iconic DC hero in Superman. Cult filmmaker and comic book enthusiast, Kevin Smith, was behind the project during the 1990s.
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, Smith talked more about potentially casting Affleck and why the film eventually didn't come to fruition.
A Ben Affleck Superman Movie Was Written By Kevin Smith
Warner Bros. was in the midst of crafting a Superman movie during the 1990s but, Kevin Smith wasn't the biggest fan of the adaptation's direction. Coming off Clerks, the cult writer pitched his own Superman movie based on The Death of Superman comics run.
Smith wanted his long-time friend and Chasing Amy lead, Ben Affleck, to wear the red-and-blue spandex for Superman Lives:
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**king 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, which was a weird Mallrats reunion.
But there were various creative differences, as Warner Bros. opted for a darker adaptation which instead featured Sean Penn as The Last Son of Krypton. Jon Peters was producing the project and pushed for Penn, who was coming off his Oscar-nominated performance in Dead Man Walking at the time:
[Peters] goes, ‘Look in his 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.
As pointed out by Smith, Man of Steel later adapted Superman through this darker tone:
But he wanted to reinvent it. He wanted something gritty, graphic and grownup. He essentially wanted like what Zack Snyder eventually did.
Superman Lives ultimately withered away. But Ben Affleck did come to wear the Superman costume in the movie, Hollywoodland.
Affleck's appearance can be seen in the cover photo for this story. The 2006 film wasn't a DC story per se, but instead, Affleck portrayed George Reeves; the original actor who starred as Superman in his own TV show.
The Academy Award Winner eventually graveled his voice in Batman vs Superman. Though it seems like the actor's stance as the Caped Crusader is short-lived, as The Flash will mark the final appearance for Affleck's iteration of the Dark Knight.