One of the most anticipated DC films in a long time is undoubtedly Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Starring Robert Pattinson, the movie will see the titular hero go up against Paul Dano’s The Riddler and Colin Farrell’s Penguin. Also along for the ride is Zoë Kravitz’s Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. The movie’s trailers have shown what fans believe could become the best Batman outing to date. The movie could have been much different, however. At one point, Justice League star and Batman actor Ben Affleck was set to direct and star in the very same project focused on the Caped Crusader.
So what happened? Well, Justice League’s production has been well known to be messy, and the writing on the wall has shown that Affleck is done with the role of Batman.
The actor surprisingly returned to the role for Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the upcoming The Flash movie, but his appearance in Barry Allen’s next outing is rumored to be his last under the cowl.
Ben Affleck has now spoken out more about the troubles that plagued him during the Justice League production and what led him to drop out of directing his Batman project.
Affleck Opens Up About Batman
During an interview with Los Angeles Times, Ben Affleck opened up about when his priorities changed in regards to his involvement with the DC Universe.
The actor made it clear that “the person who does this should love it” and that his priorities shifted to “being more about the experience:”
“Directing Batman is a good example. I looked at it and thought, ‘I’m not going to be happy doing this. The person who does this should love it.’ You’re supposed to always want these things, and I probably would have loved doing it at 32 or something. But it was the point where I started to realize it’s not worth it. It’s just a wonderful benefit of reorienting and recalibrating your priorities that once it started being more about the experience, I felt more at ease.”
Affleck admitted his time on Justice League was the lowest point for him for multiple reasons, and that “it was just the worst experience:”
“It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me. That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas, and then [director] Zack [Snyder]’s personal tragedy [Snyder’s daughter Autumn died by suicide in 2017] and the reshooting. It just was the worst experience. It was awful. It was everything that I didn’t like about this. That became the moment where I said, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’ It’s not even about, like, Justice League was so bad. Because it could have been anything.”
Ben Affleck Gracefully Exits Stage Left
Affleck being done with Batman is no surprise, and knowing that it’s due to Justice League shouldn’t shock many.
On a personal level, it’s great to see that his time on Zack Snyder’s Justice League and The Flash gave the actor the closure he deserved for his time as the Dark Knight. It’s a shame fans might be nearing his character’s conclusion, but all good things come to an end.
It was recently rumored that Zack Snyder’s contributions to the DCEU will be erased from canon thanks to the new timeline created at the end of The Flash later this year—that would include both Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman.
On top of that, there is rumored to be an entirely new Justice League roster, including Zachary Levi’s Shazam, Sasha Calle’s Supergirl, Leslie Grace's Batgirl, and Ezra Miller’s The Flash. The real question is, how will fans accept it?
At the end of the day, one can never truly get rid of the Multiverse—so maybe Affleck will pick up the cowl once again.
The Flash is playing in theaters worldwide on November 22 later this year.