In a desperate bid to become culturally relevant again, writer Bret Easton Ellis has unleashed a rumor about Ben Affleck’s upcoming The Batman. In a discussion with The Ringer (via Batman News), Ellis stated that he’d heard that Affleck’s Batman script is in major trouble…and that the Warner Bros. executives don’t care.
In a really amazing feat of rumor-milling, Ellis told The Ringer that he was “having dinner with a couple of executives who know other executives who are working on the Batman movie” when the issue of the script came up:
And they were just telling me that there are serious problems with the script. And that the executives I was having dinner with were complaining about people who work on the Batman movie. And they just said they went to the studio and they said, ‘Look, the script is … Here’s 30 things that are wrong with it that we can fix.’ And [the executives] said, ‘We don’t care. We don’t really care. The amount of money we’re going to make globally, I mean 70 percent of our audience is not going to be seeing this in English. And it doesn’t really matter, these things that you’re bringing up about the flaws of the script.’ So I do think global concerns play a big part in how movies, and what movies, are being made, obviously.
Ignoring for a moment the fact that Ellis is reporting a conversation that he had about “friends of friends” (and his inability to not start a sentence with “and”), there have been legitimate concerns about Affleck’s The Batman script. The actor/director has already stated that he isn’t happy with what’s on the page, and it appears that he was working on it as late as his recent junket to promote The Accountant. This is in spite of the fact that the film is supposed to begin shooting in the spring.
Meanwhile, The Wrap’s Umberto Gonzalez has stated unequivocally that the rumors about Affleck’s Bat-script are not true:
100% NOT TRUE! Trust me. 😉 https://t.co/IuObP19ZtL
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) November 4, 2016
It’s all a question of who you believe, really.
At the end of the day, Ellis is reporting rumors on top of rumors. But more concerning about all of this is Ellis’ claim that the executives don’t really care if the script – or the film – is decent or not, because it’s going to make money. While I’m very skeptical of listening to Bret Easton Ellis about anything, including good filmmaking, that claim certainly gels with the sense that Hollywood is more concerned with making money than with making quality films. Unfortunately, The Batman may just be the latest example of this concern in action.