The Accountant and five other times Affleck got in on the action
He might be swapping the Batsuit for a suit and tie, but the action doesn’t let up for Ben Affleck in the tense thriller The Accountant. But this is not the only time he’s been up for a bit of a scrap. Can you remember…
- When Affleck saved the planet alongside Bruce Willis in 1998?
- When he became Jack Ryan in 2002?
- Affleck’s first foray into comic books as blind hero Daredevil?
- The action-packed crime drama Ben Affleck directed in 2010?
- His recent battle with the Son of Krypton?
Here are some of his best action roles to date.
The film, directed by Gavin O’Connor, tells the story of Affleck’s small-town public accountant Christian Wolff, a mathematical genius who freelances for some of the biggest criminal organisations on the planet. With J.K. Simmons’ Treasury Department agent closing in, the drama is just beginning. Affleck is joined on screen by a cast including Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, John Lithgow, and Jeffrey Tambor.
Did you know? The screenplay for this film was featured in the 2011 Blacklist, a list of the “most liked” unmade scripts of the year.
Not many people go up against Bruce Willis and live to tell the tale but as the love interest of Willis’ daughter, Affleck must battle his future father-in-law and an asteroid on course to destroy Earth in the box-office hit Armageddon. His character A.J. Frost is part of rag-tag group of deep-core drillers hired by NASA to save the world from oblivion. The film boasts an all-star cast including Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi, and Liv Tyler, and plays out to Aerosmith’s classic “I don’t want to miss a thing” main theme.
Did you know? Directed by Michael Bay and with J.J. Abrams among the writers, Armageddon was the highest grossing film of 1998 worldwide.
The Sum of All Fears, 2002
From taking on John McClane to stepping into the boots of Harrison Ford, Affleck became the latest actor to play the character of Jack Ryan in The Sum of All Fears. The spy thriller based on the Tom Clancy novel sees CIA analyst Ryan attempting to avert a nuclear war. Together with the CIA Director, played by Morgan Freeman, the protagonist faces a race against time to bring James Cromwell’s US President and Ciarán Hinds’ Russian leader back from the brink.
Did you know? A year earlier, Ben Affleck had played a pilot in World War II drama Pearl Harbor. His commanding officer was played by Alec Baldwin who had previously starred as Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October.
The film has become a byword for a low point in Affleck’s career but his turn as the blind crimefighter Daredevil would pave the way for much bigger things in the superhero world later on. Affleck played attorney Matt Murdock who was blinded as a young boy in an accident with bio-waste. The film co-starred Colin Farrell and Affleck’s future wife Jennifer Garner, and was actually a commercial success even if the actor received mixed response from critics. What it also demonstrated was Affleck’s love for comic books and, in particular, the Daredevil character.
Did you know? Within three years Affleck had received a Golden Globe for his performance as another superhero of sorts in Hollywoodland. He played the tragic character of George Reeves, the star of the Superman TV series of the 1950s. Coincidentally Affleck’s co-star in The Accountant Jon Bernthal, appears as the Punisher in the Daredevil series on Netflix.
The Town, 2010
Ben Affleck directed, co-wrote, and starred in the heist thriller The Town. The action-packed crime drama follows a group of Boston bank robbers from the suburb of Charlestown. After taking Rebecca Hall’s bank manager hostage, they then find out she lives in the same close-knit neighbourhood. Affleck’s character Doug MacRay must discover what she knows while trying to plan the next job and evade the FBI, led by Jon Hamm. Affleck won praise for his action sequences while co-star Jeremy Renner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Did you know? The film was premiered at the Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, which formed part of the plot to the movie. In a very early role, both Affleck and best friend Matt Damon appeared as baseball fan extras in Kevin Costner’s Field of Dreams in 1989.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2016
Eyebrows were raised when Affleck was named as the newest man to don the mask of Batman. While Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was released to mixed reviews, Affleck’s portrayal of an older, world-weary Dark Knight of Gotham City was largely hailed by fans and critics. Despite getting burned with his experience as Daredevil, Affleck has stepped back into the superhero universe with typical style, following up with an appearance as Batman in Suicide Squad. He’s set to direct and star in a forthcoming standalone Batman film and reprise the role in Justice League. It looks like Ben Affleck has made the role of one of cinema’s greatest action stars, the Caped Crusader, his own.
Did you know? The 1995 film Mallrats directed by Kevin Smith opens with mocked up comic book covers and one features his friend Ben Affleck as a parody of, you’ve guessed it, Batman.