Actors Ryan Reynolds and Ben Affleck should both view 2016 as the year of cinematic redemption.
Fans and critics that are not very familiar with their past histories within the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes will only know them for their respective leading roles in Deadpool and Batman v Superman.
However, that major dose of ignorant bliss is unfortunately not available for everyone. There are still a substantial number of people that know very well that those movies were not the first times that Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds ventured into the rodeo of superhero movies.
Let’s start with Ben Affleck. In comparison, Ben Affleck does not have as much damage to his track record as Ryan Reynolds within the arena of superhero movies. Why is that? Before the big announcement that Affleck would become the next actor to play the Dark Knight on the big-screen, he only had one other superhero role in his extensive filmography: Matt Murdock (Daredevil) in the 2003 film.
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Written and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, Daredevil placed Ben Affleck in the red leather suit of the blind attorney by day that enjoyed taking down bad guys with his super senses at night.
If you pay close attention to the box-office numbers, Daredevil was actually a hit film. With an estimated budget of $78 million, Daredevil generated over $179 million at the box-office worldwide.
However, from a critical standpoint, Daredevil became a primary target for negative reviews and backlash from loyal fans of the Marvel superhero.
In a July 2015 issue of Entertainment Weeky, Ben Affleck embraced Daredevil and its mistakes by simply stating that “Daredevil didn’t work at all.”
Keep in mind that it was not Ben Affleck’s performance, necessarily, that caused the movie to miss the mark with numerous fans and critics. According to Affleck, it was all about the timing.
“That was before people realized you could make these movies and make them well. There was a cynical sense of ‘Put a red leather outfit on a guy, have him run around, hunt some bad guys, and cash the check.'”
Being chosen to play Bruce Wayne/Batman in the highly-anticipated film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice allows Ben Affleck to erase the 13-year-old memory of Daredevil and replace it with an epic redemption.
From the footage of Affleck that has been shown in trailers and TV spots leading up to the film’s March premiere, it is apparently clear to even some of the most skeptical critics that Ben Affleck redeemed himself.
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Now, let’s head over to Ryan Reynolds – the actor that had a lot more to lose when he decided to dive back into the world of superhero movies. Keep in mind that Ben Affleck has built a successful career behind the scenes as an actor and director – providing him with a solid foundation to build on even if his value as an actor plummeted.
Ryan Reynolds doesn’t necessarily have that type of foundation yet. Therefore, he put a lot more on the line with Deadpool than most people realize. However, he was determined to bring his passion project to the big-screen and – based on current box office numbers – his efforts are paying off in a major way.
The commercial and critical success of Deadpool will help to erase the memory of the alleged Deadpool cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
It may even help Ryan Reynolds to finally move away from the box-office flop and critical backlash that he received after the release and inevitable failure of the 2011 film Green Lantern.
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In a February 2015 interview with Yahoo! Movies, Ryan Reynolds made it clear that the script (or lack thereof) was a huge problem that caused him to learn a hard life lesson when he shot Green Lantern.
“When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script because the script didn’t exist. I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that’s what’s different on this one.”
Reynolds apparently learned from that mistake since the screenplay for Deadpool was completed long before the movie started filming.
Both Ben Affleck and Ryan Reynolds have already secured future films in their respective roles as Batman and Deadpool. Chances are that they will never have to worry about returning to their past roles, but thanks to their superhero redemption they won’t have to worry about that at all.
[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images]