Batman actor and director Ben Affleck leads Comic-Con parade of superhero filmmakers

Affleck, who stars as Batman in Justice League and directs an as yet unnamed Batman film, joined on stage by Wonder Woman director, makers of new Flash and Aquaman films and Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 July, 2016, 1:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 July, 2016, 1:59pm

Ben Affleck took the stage at Comic-Con for the first time at the weekend as both superhero actor and director.

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The man under the Dark Knight’s cowl in the upcoming Justice League movie (in US cinemas on November 17, 2017) stepped out along with his fellow filmmakers in the DC Films universe at a Warner Bros. panel.

It was such a historic moment that Affleck needed to capture a picture of the 6,500 fans cheering for him.

“This is kind of nerdy, but this is a big deal in my life,” said the star of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice . “This is never going to happen again.”

It drew a quip from moderator Conan O’Brien: “I think this may happen for you again.”

The two-hour panel also featured new footage from Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (in cinemas November 18), monster movie Kong: Skull Island (March 10), animated The Lego Batman Movie (February 10) and adventure King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (March 24), but superheroes and comic-book characters were the primary focus.

Director Patty Jenkins appeared for her Wonder Woman movie (June 2), a 1920s wartime period piece with Gal Gadot as the iconic superheroine. The 1978 Superman starring Christopher Reeve “made me have an experience that I’d never had before. I cried for Superman, I wanted to be Superman, I wanted to be good,” said Jenkins, adding that now as an adult, Wonder Woman is her favourite.

“It is overdue but it also feels like the best time to make this movie.”

Rick Famuyiwa marked his first Comic-Con by telling the audience how his Flash movie (March 16, 2018), starring Ezra Miller, will bring the Scarlet Speedster to the big screen in a new way. “I had to pull out my Flash Underoos from back in the day,” the director told the Comic-Con crowd. “I know I’m not the only one. I know there are a lot of Underoos on right now.”

For his Aquaman film (July 27, 2018) with Jason Momoa, director James Wan revealed that he’s aiming “to bring a bit of my horror element into this – the deep sea, the scary world.”

Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer came on behalf of his supervillain-centric affair, which shows that “even the worst of us are capable of doing the greatest good”, he said. And Zack Snyder was on hand with his cast of Justice League – Affleck, Gadot, Miller, Momoa, Ray Fisher (who plays Cyborg) and Henry Cavill (aka Superman) – and reported that, when it comes to seeing his crew in costume, “there’s plenty of times where we’re just losing it”.

In Affleck, he’s got an “awesome Batman”, Snyder added, and Affleck likens directing his own solo Batman film to “a great play that has been done a bunch of times before”, where there’s a history for both artists and fans.

“It’s terrifying but it’s inspiring,” Affleck said. “It’s one of the most iconic and fascinating characters ever created, especially in contemporary American drama.”