Ben Affleck On Batman: “I’m In It For As Long As They’ll Have Me”


There’s something about the DC Extended Universe that causes nervousness among parts of the fandom. Perhaps it’s the shuffling of directors around projects like The Flash (now planned as Flashpoint), or perhaps it’s the mixed wider reaction to films such as Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad.

Whatever the reason, it means that the slightest hint of instability leads to claims that the sky is falling – or rather that Ben Affleck is leaving the role of Batman. Having issued onstage refutations to that point at Comic-Con, the filmmaker then expanded on it with Entertainment Weekly backstage, saying the following:

“It’s such a big job, in terms of the stunts and the suit and the action and the character. Trying to do that, and direct, would probably be too much. Something would be compromised. I think it came off, optically, to the broader world, like lack of interest or enthusiasm. When in fact I love this character I think getting Matt Reeves to come in and do it is really, really exciting. Matt hasn’t really unveiled his full vision yet. He wanted to wait until Apes came out, and he was obviously consumed with that. So I’m looking forward to hearing what his story is.”

Affleck, of course, refers to the fact that he was originally slated to write, direct and star in The Batman, before climbing down from scripting and helming duties to make way for War For The Planet Of The Apes director, Matt Reeves. While these announcements caused concern among fans that Affleck’s commitment to the Dark Knight was waning, the actor insists that it’s a demonstration of the fact that the opposite is true. He wants to concentrate on the delivery of the role to the very best of his considerable ability, supported by excellent filmmakers and a dedicated studio.

“Warners has been working on it, making sure we’re getting it right. That’s the partnership you definitely want. With Wonder Woman, they really hit a home run. With [Justice League], I think we’ve found the tone, and found the flavor of it. I’d love to do it as long as they’ll have me. Eventually it’ll be somebody else, and I’m sure they’ll get somebody great. But while I’m doing it, I’m going to do the best job I can, and really appreciate how lucky I am.”

As the tagline of the new Justice League poster says, “You can’t save the world alone” – and it seems that this is the attitude with which Ben Affleck is now approaching his first time leading a film that is focused entirely on Batman. The cinematic Dark Knight might have been a lonely, isolated figure until now, but the DCEU is a brand new era for the world’s greatest detective. Affleck’s Caped Crusader is a team player in Justice League, and in The Batman, the actor is most definitely following suit, in fully committed fashion.