DC Films Head Allegedly Forced Ben Affleck Out Of The Batman Role


Ben Affleck had a rough 2010s. Sure, he got some of that Oscar goodness in 2012 with Argo, but other than that, he came on as the most divisive Dark Knight ever, directed a major flop of a passion project, got divorced from Jennifer Garner, and fell deep back into alcoholism. Things seemed to be on an upswing for the troubled mutlti-hyphenate though when it was announced he was taking over The Batman from Zack Snyder and crew…until he unceremoniously left the project. While he’s since opened up about the turmoil surrounding the pic, some new rumors have surfaced now surrounding the film’s troubled development.

Geoff Johns, the man who took over executive production duties on DC Films after the under-performances, both commercially and critically, of Snyder’s ilk, reportedly clashed with Ben Affleck over the film’s tone. Since audiences weren’t keen on the grimdark nature of the previous DC movies, Johns argued that Affleck’s script would veer too closely to the established darkness, and that the film should be more optimistic in its approach. Between that, the negative reaction to Justice League, and his personal life’s woes, it all seemed to be too much for the actor and he walked from the project at the end of the day.

This “scoop” comes from Film Gob, so take it with a grain of salt, although it does seem like this could have been a legitimate issue. Affleck himself opened up about that time in his life, where he said that, between himself and talking to friends, he was worried about falling back into a dark place when it came to his drinking, fearing for his well-being if he took on The Batman as star/writer/producer/director. I guess, per Gob, Johns was worried about another “Heath Situation,” which…that’s kind of poor taste, and a totally different scenario, but hey, whatever gets you clicks.

I’m more inclined to believe it was personal issues than studio interference directly, though. I’ve been in the camp for a while that Affleck didn’t even exactly want to be Batman or to direct a DC film, but was maybe pushed into it by Warner Brothers when they realized they had to course correct from Snyder’s “vision.” Hell, if people were so unhappy with my take on an iconic character, I’d probably want to vacate the part, too. I just hope Ben relaxes for a bit and focuses on himself, and maybe stays away from multiplexes when The Batman hits theaters next year.

Source: Film Gob