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Ben Affleck has a long-standing career with top hits like Armageddon and Good Will Hunting under his belt. He also has been involved with the DC Extended Universe for a while. However, while he is mainly known for being Batman, Affleck also portrayed Superman once — despite losing out on his own Superman movie.
Hollywoodland is a 2006 movie starring Adrien Brody, Affleck, and Diane Lane. The movie follows a fictional private investigator who looks into the death of real-life actor George Reeves, who starred in the show Adventures of Superman.
The P.I., Louis Simo, takes it upon himself to find out what happened to the beloved Superman actor. He finds some inconsistencies in the stories about the actor’s death, with some people, including Simo, theorizing that Reeves didn’t die by suicide but was killed.
The film mixes reality with fiction, pointing to Reeves’ affair with MGM employee Eddie Mannix’s wife (real), his discontent with playing Clark Kent (real), and theories about his death (unknown). Hollywoodland received mixed reviews, though Affleck’s performance garnered much praise.
About 10 years earlier, Ben Affleck’s friend and frequent collaborator, director Kevin Smith, was attached to the film Superman Lives. He was to write a screenplay but only after he followed what he called absurd requirements, including not allowing Superman to fly. However, the dedicated filmmaker and comic book fanatic stayed the course — making many requested changes, save for one.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, Smith wrote the script with one actor in mind for the role of Superman. “I was writing it for Affleck,” he explained. “Affleck, he’s a f****** 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.”
The role was ultimately given to Nicholas Cage, with filming slated for 1998. However, in April of that year, Warner Bros decided to halt the film after spending $30 million on development. Those involved also dropped out of the movie. Superman Lives never made it to production.
Although he never became Superman, Ben Affleck went on to play a superhero — once for Marvel, and later, in a bigger scale, back with DC. He appeared in the maligned 2003 film Daredevil playing the titular hero, a blind lawyer named Matt Murdock who moonlights as a vigilante.
Affleck then appeared in a handful of DCEU films, starting with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016. He reprised his role in Justice League and its extended cut, Zack Snyder’s Justice League. He is set to appear in the upcoming Aquaman and The Lost Kingdom as well as The Flash film.
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Showbiz Cheat Sheet