Beset with production woes and cast and crew in-fighting, and saddled with poor reviews, Zack Snyder’s 2017 “Justice League” achieved some semblance of redemption last year with the HBO Max release of the four-hour Snyder cut. But that doesn’t mean the film remains any less traumatizing for its key players.
Case in point: Ben Affleck, who starred as Batman in the Warner Bros. DC tentpole. Actors like Gal Gadot (who clashed with Joss Whedon during reshoots after Snyder had to abandon the project) and Ray Fisher (who also faced Whedon’s alleged abuse) have been vocal about their unpleasant experiences. But Affleck, in a recent Los Angeles Times interview supporting his film “The Tender Bar,” threw in his two cents about his torturous time on the set. (Via The Hollywood Reporter.)
Specifically, Affleck described making “Justice League” as the “nadir” of his career. Among Affleck’s reasons, he cited Snyder exiting the film after the death of his daughter, Autumn, in May 2017. It was then that Joss Whedon, whom Affleck doesn’t mention by name, took over for reshoots.
“It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me,” said Affleck, who hung up his cape as the Dark Knight in 2019 but will reprise the role in November’s upcoming “The Flash.” “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 Zack’s personal tragedy and the reshooting. It just was the worst experience. It was awful. It was everything that I didn’t like about this.”
Affleck added, “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.'”
Sparked by Fisher’s allegations of Whedon’s mistreatment, an internal “Justice League” investigation at WarnerMedia took place in 2020. While remedial action was reportedly taken, specifics were never shared. (The probe was launched in August 2020, with the investigation concluding in December.)
Affleck’s comments were spurred by his own reflections on dropping out of directing “The Batman” (now set from director Matt Reeves on March 4) back in 2017.
“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,” Affleck said. “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.”