Ben Affleck has had a number of phases to his career in the 25 years plus he’s been in Hollywood. Starting out, Affleck and a number of young actors first gained notoriety in a number of Kevin Smith’s films (Mallrats, Chasing Amy, etc.) back when Kevin Smith actually made movies. Then he and his best friend Matt Damon had their Hollywood dream come true when their indie film, Good Will Hunting, in which they both wrote and starred, became one of the most critically acclaimed pictures of 1997 and the duo’s Oscar acceptance is one of the best of all-time. From there, Affleck entered a blockbuster phase that didn’t take. The scripts kept getting worse until he hit rock-bottom with Gigli, one of the most mocked films in recent memory.
Affleck, though, didn’t burn out. He started out as a writer, and he started picking quality scripts again. He also began directing, and he showed tremendous talent with Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo. Currently, his career is intertwined with being the current Batman, and while I may not be a huge fan of any of the films he’s been Batman in (funnily enough he played Superman first in 2006’s Hollywoodland), I like his take on the character, but I’m not certain where the DCEU goes with a Batman in his mid-to-late 40s. Whatever’s next, I think Affleck should get back behind the camera, pick projects that highlight his strengths as an actor (he’s not the strongest, but his overall knowledge of the process gives him an edge), and make the movies he wants to make. Getting sucked into commercial Hollywood blockbusters is what broke his career the first time; I’d hate to see it happen again.
Ben Affleck’s Best 10
1. Argo (2012) Tony Mendez
2. Good Will Hunting (1997) Chuckie
3. The Town (2010) Doug MacRay
4. Gone Girl (2014) Nick Dunne
5. Shakespeare in Love (1998) Ned Alleyn
6. Hollywoodland (2006) George Reeves
7. State of Play (2009) Stephen Collins
8. The Company Men (2010) Bobby Walker
9. Boiler Room (2000) Jim Young
10. Chasing Amy (1997) Holden McNeil
Honorable Mention: Dogma (1999) Bartleby
Oscars, Golden Globes & Emmys
Oscar Wins (2): Good Will Hunting (1998-Screenplay), Argo (2013-Producer)
Oscar Nominations (2): Good Will Hunting (1998-Screenplay), Argo (2013-Producer)
Golden Globe Wins (2): Good Will Hunting (1998-Screenplay), Argo (2013-Producer)
Golden Globe Nominations (3): Good Will Hunting (1998-Screenplay), Hollywoodland (2007), Argo (2013-Director)
Emmy Wins (0): None
Emmy Nominations (4): Project Greenlight (2003-2005, 2016-Producer)
My Favorite Affleck Scene:
“The Best Part of My Day” from Good Will Hunting (1997)
Next Film: Affleck’s future, like that of the DCEU’s, is largely going to depend on the direction WB takes the comic book universe after Justice League. Matt Reeves is attached to direct a solo Batman film entilted The Batman that Affleck is attached to, and most of the Justice League is expected to appear in Flashpoint, when a director and release date can be established, but given his age, Affleck has a limited amount of time left to bear the cape and cowl. Other projects on his slate are Thirst, a film about the global water crisis, a remake of Witness for the Prosecution, and The Accountant 2.