Kevin Smith Defends Ben Affleck’s Performance In Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

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It’s one of the most notorious and meme-able clips from the promotional campaign of 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice: Ben Affleck staring despondently into space – seemingly indifferent to his co-star Henry Cavill’s answer – after an interviewer asks for their thoughts on the harsh reviews that the film received. Two years later, this image remains a painful encapsulation of the unfortunate trajectory of the actor’s journey as Batman, which ultimately amounted to two critically derided films that failed to establish the DCEU as a truly sustainable franchise.

But while Affleck’s Caped Crusader probably won’t be remembered as one of the finest big screen portrayals of the iconic character, his old friend Kevin Smith argues that the Gone Girl star’s take on Bruce Wayne was still among the better reasons to watch Batman V Superman and the commercially underwhelming Justice League.

Speaking on the Fat Man on Batman podcast, the director of such Affleck outings as Chasing Amy and Dogma recalls how initial audiences responded pretty well to the actor’s first turn as the World’s Greatest Detective, even if they weren’t too keen on the film around it.

“I think if you think back to when Batman v Superman came out, he was the one that actually skated. He got a lot of f—king praise.”

It’s strange to think that the decision to the cast Affleck as Batman was met with quite a backlash when it was first announced, only for most fans to ultimately feel that he did more to help the film than hurt it. With this in mind, Smith speaks further on the pleasant surprise that he turned out to be for many viewers.

“There were people going, ‘This movie’s got a lot of issues, ironically, Affleck as Batman is not one of them.’ That was my recollection of people’s reaction to BVS. They had issues with the tone and the darkness and sh-t like that, but he was the one thing that most people agreed was really good in the movie.”

Sadly, after the poorly received Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the current talk is that Affleck is unlikely to reprise the role anytime soon, meaning that the bat torch could be passed on once more to a new actor for Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Whoever ends up playing the part, here’s hoping the movie can live up to their talent, and vice versa.

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