Ben Affleck was ready to hang up his Caped Crusader costume until “The Flash” gave him an opportunity to come into his own as the character.
The Oscar winner revealed during a Hollywood Reporter cover story that the upcoming DC film led by Ezra Miller let him “finally figure out” how to become Batman.
“Yeah, I did finally figure out how to play that character [Batman], and I nailed it in ‘The Flash,'” Affleck said. “For the five minutes I’m there, it’s really great. A lot of it’s just tone. You’ve got to figure out, what’s your version of the person? Who is the guy that fits what you can do? I tried to fit myself into a Batman.”
He added, “And by the way, I like a lot of the stuff we did, especially the first one [‘Batman v Superman’].”
However, as Affleck added, “The ‘Justice League’ experience, the fact that those stories became somewhat repetitive to me and less interesting. ‘Justice League,’ you could teach a seminar on all the reasons why this is how not to do it. Ranging from production to bad decisions to horrible personal tragedy, and just ending with the most monstrous taste in my mouth.”
Original “Justice League” director Zack Snyder’s daughter died during production. Snyder exited the project, while Joss Whedon took over and allegedly discarded 90 percent of Snyder’s film. Whedon’s finished film was poorly received and the cast including Gal Gadot and Ray Fisher accused Whedon of being abusive on set and threatening their careers.
“There was an idea of someone [Joss Whedon] coming in, like, ‘I’ll rescue you and we’ll do 60 days of shooting and I’ll write a whole thing around what you have. I’ve got the secret,'” Affleck recalled. “And it wasn’t the secret. That was hard.”
The “Good Will Hunting” screenwriter admitted, “I started to drink too much. I was back at the hotel in London, it was either that or jump out the window. And I just thought, ‘This isn’t the life I want. My kids aren’t here. I’m miserable.’ You want to go to work and find something interesting to hang onto, rather than just wearing a rubber suit, and most of it you’re just standing against the computer screen going, ‘If this nuclear waste gets loose, we’ll…’ That’s fine. I don’t condescend to that or put it down, but I got to a point where I found it creatively not satisfying. Also just, you’re sweaty and exhausted. And I thought, ‘I don’t want to participate in this in any way. And I don’t want to squander any more of my life, of which I have a limited amount.'”
Affleck summed up of the “Justice League” experience, “The genius, and the silver lining, is that Zack Snyder eventually went to AT&T and was like, ‘Look, I can get you four hours of content.’ And it’s principally just all the slow motion that he shot in black-and-white. And one day of shooting with me and him. He was like, ‘Do you want to come shoot in my backyard?’ I was like, ‘I think there are unions, Zack. I think we have to make a deal.’ But I went and did it. And now [‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’] is my highest-rated movie on IMDb. Say what you want, it is my highest-rated career movie. I’ve never had one that went from nadir to pinnacle. Retroactively, it’s a hit. All of a sudden I was getting congratulated for the bomb I’m in.”