Following Ben Affleck’s Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Best Actor nomination Wednesday, two previously unknown tales of collaborations with writer/director Kevin Smith have emerged.
Entertainment Weekly reveals that Smith saved the movie that rocketed Affeck and co-star Matt Damon to fame: Good Will Hunting:
“Kevin saved Good Will Hunting,” Damon says of Smith (Dogma, Mallrats), who had worked closely with the pair on 1997’s Chasing Amy and helped convince the studio that they also belonged on camera. “We were dead in the water. And we would’ve lost it. It would’ve been made with other people in it, and we’d still be really angry I’m sure.”
“We would have been the writers, but we wouldn’t have been the actors,” Affleck concurs. “And the whole thing was we wanted to be actors. And he got it to [executive producer] Jon Gordon and got people to believe in it.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May 2022 see you accomplishing all your goals in life (unless your goal is to hurt people; if so, abandon your goals immediately and seek help)!
For me, 2022 will eventually be the Year of CLERKS III (which I wrote last year around this time).
(Photo: @JoshRoush!) pic.twitter.com/GlBgcSFNhN
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 1, 2022
Smith also wrote a Death of Superman script for Affleck. In an interview with Yahoo News’ Never-Weres Smith says: “I was writing it for [Ben] Affleck. Ben was heating up. Like he was there. I think he’d been hired for Armageddon. … Affleck, he’s a fucking giant, like he’s built like a superhero, built like a giant action figure, particularly with the height. And then he puts on the muscles there too. So in my head and heart, it was always Ben and Michael Rooker, which was a weird Mallrats reunion.”
Smith found himself writing the script after he read the previous one Warner Bros. was developing called Superman Reborn. “[I said] ‘Oh my god, it’s terrible. The whole script, [it’s like] the people who wrote it don’t understand Superman at all. It’s kind of winking and stuff. There’s a way, a faithful telling of this … audiences appreciate it being treated seriously,’”
The script ended up being nixed by producer Jon Peters who Smith said wanted a man of steel closer to what Zack Snyder eventually did.
Affleck ended up playing actor George Reeves who was the 1950’s Superman in the 2006 biopic Hollywoodland.
Affleck was also recently featured in the Los Angeles Times where he confessed that playing Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League was “the worst experience of his life.”
Affleck will play Batman one last time in Warner Bros. The Flash next year.