Here’s a really unfortunate story—if true—about the upcoming Ben Affleck-directed Batman movie: According to author Bret Easton Ellis, Warner Bros. executives know the movie’s script sucks, but they refuse to do anything about it.
Ellis famously had his book, American Psycho, turned into a movie, so him dining with Hollywood executives doesn’t sound out of the ordinary. However, his quote is third-hand, which was then relayed to The Ringer, which means there’s no telling how accurate or authentic his info is.
We’d like to believe Ben Affleck’s script for the upcoming movie is good but even the actor has acknowledged there are some problems.
Now, here’s what Ellis had to say:
I was having dinner with a couple of executives who know other executives who are working on the [forthcoming] Batman movie, The Batman. 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 that 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.’
Apparently, the executives responded by saying they don’t care, because the movie will do well regardless, especially overseas.
“I mean 70 percent of our audience is not going to be seeing this in English,” one of the executives reportedly said.
While their blasé attitude toward the script’s quality is troubling, the executives have every reason to be optimistic about how it’ll perform overseas. Many of this year’s biggest movies made a boatload of money internationally—performing much better than they did in the U.S.
One example, though it wasn’t made by Warner Bros., is Warcraft, which made a paltry $47 million in the U.S. but garnered a massive $386 million overseas. Clearly, studios are starting to recognize that international markets are just as important, or more so, which means Western movies might start being catered to Eastern audiences.
Batman v Superman made over $200 million internationally than it did in the U.S., while Suicide Squad made over $100 million.
The attitude is very troubling but if all these executives are after is money, then it’s not surprising.
Ben Affleck is a talented writer and director, so hopefully he can right the ship before the movie begins filming. If not, it will likely do gangbusters overseas anyway—something these executives appear to be counting on.