Ben Affleck may have gotten too expensive to play Batman, but not in the way you would think. Affleck may be done playing Batman as the costs of insuring him have allegedly gotten too steep, according to multiple sources.
Affleck is a recovering alcoholic and went into rehab last week for the third time in the last two decades and the second time in just over a year. This may have priced him out of a film like Warner Bros.’ upcoming ‘The Batman.’ A representative for a completion bond company gave information to The Wrap saying:
“More than likely the studio will replace him because the insurance costs are going to go through the roof.”
An attorney who specializes in insurance and bond products added:
“He would be bondable, but the deductible would be really high, probably the budget of the film.”
The insider at the bond company mentioned that insurers could ask for half of the film’s budget set aside in escrow as a deductible. Considering that the production budget on Affleck’s 2017 Batman appearance, ‘Justice League,’ was around $300 million, that could be a hell of a deductible!
Both Warner Bros. and representatives for Affleck have declined to comment on this story, but it has been previously reported that ‘The Batman’ director Matt Reeves was looking into the idea of casting a younger actor in the standalone film.
Affleck’s problem mirrors that of Robert Downey Jr.’s in the late ’90s and early 2000s. Mark Burg, producer of ‘The Gingerbread Man,’ told the L.A. Times that the insurance premium for Downey would have cost the production $1 million on a film with a budget of less than $30 million. He explained that he shot the film with no insurance saying:
“I could not afford to hire Robert Downey Jr. if I had to pay that exorbitant premium, so I basically just gambled, took a shot.”
‘Gothika” producer Joel Silver explained that he held onto 40 percent of Downey’s salary as insurance. Furthermore, Mel Gibson paid Downey’s insurance bond himself for his 2003 film ‘The Singing Detective,’ according to Entertainment Weekly.
Insiders suggest that Affleck may have to follow Downey’s example and involve himself in indie films with smaller budgets for a while before insurers will bet on him for major studio releases at a reasonable rate. The attorney explained:
“A track record of completing projects without incident, that would likely show the underwriter that the risk has gone down and would likely lead to them lowering premiums and the cost of the bond on future projects.”
In any situation, Affleck’s return to a film set would most likely come with a few serious conditions. The bond company representative explained that Affleck would have to “not only pass a medical exam but also take a daily drug test on set every day administered by a doctor or doctors chosen by the insurance company.”
Another source, a dealmaker in content financing, said:
“Financiers and producers are going to want to see some evidence that his recent round of therapy was effective and that there are going to be some steps taken that he will be sober on his next project. Maybe hiring a sober monitor? Affleck will have to be on his game on his next project.”
Fans and filmmakers alike certainly would love to see Affleck come back from this and continue to make movies. The attorney explained that he has done it before, and everyone is rooting for him to do it again, saying:
“In the grand scheme, Affleck has a proven track record of critical and commercial success. I would expect that there will still be a market for him as an artist.”
Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more ‘The Batman’ news as it becomes available!