Why Ben Affleck's Batman flick could be terrible or amazing

Following his appearances in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, Ben Affleck will not only star in, but also write and direct a solo Batman movie. It has the potential to be another great Bat-movie in line with Christopher Nolan's trilogy…or a complete bat-tastrophe harkening back to the Joel Schumacher films. Here's what's working for it and what's working against it.

Ben Affleck Is The Best He's Ever Been

After reinventing his career following a slew of box-office and critical bombs, Ben Affleck has transformed himself into an Oscar-winning force to be reckoned with. That's largely thanks to the back-to-back successes of The Town and Argo. With his new steady hand as a writer and director—which was also behind some of his best acting performances—a solo Batman movie with Affleck at the helm has all the pieces in place to be a gritty crime movie on par with The Dark Knight.

Collaborator Geoff Johns Has A Shaky Track Record

Also collaborating on the script is Geoff Johns, a superstar writer for DC Comics who does great on paper. However, his last film project, the Ryan Reynolds-starring Green Lantern, was such an epic disaster that it set DC's entire cinematic universe back over half a decade. Johns also had a hand in some cringeworthy episodes of Smallville that further prove his strengths are writing for comics, not the screen.

DC's Shared Universe Is All Under One Roof

With the film set to place following the events of Justice League, and more importantly Suicide Squad, Batfleck's solo movie doesn't have to worry about the baggage of an origin story or introducing new villains or sidekicks. Even better, DC and Warner Bros. have a distinct advantage over Marvel because it owns the movie rights to every single one of its characters, and can mine the very best Batman stories without worrying about legal issues. The possibilities are endless, and Ben Affleck has already showed proficient skill adapting stories to the screen.

DC's Shared Universe Is Goofy As Hell

Granted, we just said DC's Shared Universe is a good thing for Batfleck. But it also could backfire if Warner Bros. tries to fit too many unnecessary characters into the story for the purpose of launching spinoff films. While comic fans might get a kick out of seeing obscure characters like the Spectre, you might lose the average theatergoer trying to explain why the voice of God wears a green hood and wears his underwear outside of his pants.

A Broader Batman For Ben To Use

For the first time ever in a solo film, Batman won't be contained to Gotham City, allowing audiences to experience a broader version of the character. All corners of the globe, and even space, are open territory for Batman to deliver justice, whether it's with a fist to the mouth or the Bat-Rocket.

Superman: The World's Worst Deus Ex Machina

Just like the Marvel movies have to try ignoring that the Avengers exist to keep a legitimate sense of stakes, future Batman movies will have to avoid similar storytelling pitfalls once his friendship with Superman has been established. It's really hard to heighten the sense of danger when you know an invincible flying man that shoots laser beams out of his face can show up, like, whenevs. Granted, the comics have (somewhat) pulled it off for years. But "why doesn't he just call Superman?" will be a nagging question in the audience's mind if not done right.