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Ben Affleck Turned Down Bruce Willis’ Request to Star in $388M Sequel After His Consecutive Flops With Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner

Reviewed By: Angad Singh

Ben Affleck Turned Down Bruce Willis’ Request to Star in $388M Sequel After His Consecutive Flops With Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Garner

While Ben Affleck has garnered appreciation and the Oscars for his writing and directing work, he has also seen mammoth successes as a blockbuster actor. The Good Will Hunting star was chosen to be Bruce Wayne a.k.a Batman in Zack Snyder’s DCU and before that, was known for his action films such as Pearl Harbour, Armageddon, and The Accountant.

With this image, Affleck was considered as a potential co-star for veteran action star Bruce Willis in the fourth installment of his popular action franchise Die Hard. The Gone Girl actor was reported to be considered for Live Free or Die Hard in the early stages of development but was eventually replaced by Justin Long.

Also read:Matt Damon and Ben Affleck Sold’ Good Will Hunting’ Rights to Harvey Weinstein as He Was the Only Producer Who Found Out Their ‘Fake S*x Scene’ in the Script

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Ben Affleck’s Flop Streak In The 2000s

Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck

With the release and eventual Oscar glory of Good Will Hunting, Ben Affleck became hot property in the late 90s as he starred in multiple blockbusters such as Armageddon, Pearl Harbour, Dogma, and Changing Lanes. He had also started producing documentaries with his Good Will Hunting partner Matt Damon under their production company LivePlanet.

However, the early 2000s were rough for the actor as he increasingly appeared in the public eye due to his dating life as well as a string of flops. It started with his first stint in the superhero genre, Daredevil, where he played the lawyer-cum-vigilante Matt Murdoch. The film was heavily criticized upon release for its campy and silly take on the character. Affleck himself called it the only film he has ever regretted being a part of. He starred in it along with his future wife Jennifer Garner.

Also read:Before Dating Hollywood’s Heartthrob Ana De Armas, Ben Affleck Had His Shortest Relationship With a Famous Hollywood Producer

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez

In the same year, Affleck starred in the box-office bomb Gigli with his then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. The film gained a lot of media attention due to the lead pair but was universally panned upon release, with many branding it as one of the worst films of all time. The film earned a meager $7.2 million against a $75.6 million budget. 

While Affleck gave commercial success in the form of the thriller Paycheck, his flop streak returned with the release of Jersey Girls and Surviving Christmas. Both films were commercial disappointments with the latter earning only $15 million against a $45 million budget.

Also read:“You got the shot. Let’s go home!”: Jennifer Garner Never Wanted To Work With Ben Affleck Despite Claiming He’s “Brilliant” For One Hilarious Reason

Ben Affleck Was Considered For Live Free Or Hard

Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard
Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard

With a string of flops in his kitty, Ben Affleck was written about as an actor who had faced a serious downfall. The actor had a resurgence with his appearance in Hollywoodland and his directorial Gone Baby Gone. However, if things went in another direction, then he would have received his renaissance in the same way he first gained recognition, by starring in an action film with Bruce Willis.

According to Uproxx, Bruce Willis reportedly considered reuniting with his Armageddon co-star in the fourth installment of his Die Hard series. The project was in development since the success of the third film Die Hard with a Vengence and was a different story back then. Based on an original script called Tears of the Sun, the film follows a group of people who are taken hostage by a drug operation deep inside the Amazon jungle and how they escape it. 

The script was supposed to be tweaked to include Willis as John McClane. Ben Affleck was supposed to be the character Matt Farrell, McClane’s sidekick in the film. Affleck’s version of Matt was not as nerdy as what it eventually became in Live Free or Die Hard as the film went in a more action-adventure direction. However, this version of the film was never made and Affleck did not suit the requirement of a nerdy computer hacker, which was eventually played by Justin Long. Live Free or Die Hard was a huge success at the box office, earning over $388 million, essentially reviving the franchise which had been receiving mixed reviews before.

Also read:The Flash Director’s Tribute to Ben Affleck, Michael Keaton, George Clooney on Batman Day after James Wan Seemingly Confirms Aquaman 2 Has Wiped Out All Batman Cameos

Source: Uproxx

Written by Nishanth A

A big time Nolan and DC fanboy, Nishanth is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.