Since producers announced that Ben Affleck would be the next Batman in Batman vs. Superman, the internet has been very upset. And in a recent Playboy interview, Ben Affleck says he understands the concern—even he didn’t want Ben Affleck to be the next Batman.
In fact, Affleck initially passed on the offer to be the next Caped Crusader, but after reviewing director Zack Snyder’s take, he was in. What drew him in, he tells Playboy, was the unique approach to the Batman universe’s mythology. As Affleck says:
“The stuff was incredible. … It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited. All of a sudden I had a reading of the character. When people see it, it will make more sense than it does now or even than it did to me initially."
So, being as hesitant to take the role as he was, Affleck says he understands why the internet curled up into a ball of rage at the announcement of his role. A pretty measured reaction, but it’s important to remember that this guy made it through bombs like Gigli, Surviving Christmas, and Jersey Girl, so little online fervor won’t get to him. Just check the response:
“I understand I'm at a disadvantage with the internet. If I thought the result would be another Daredevil, I'd be out there picketing myself. [laughs] Why would I make the movie if I didn't think it was going to be good and that I could be good in it?... [But] I've learned it doesn't matter what people think before a movie comes out; what matters is what people think when they see the movie. There's a lot of noise in the world, and the internet magnifies that energy. My focus is on the actual execution of the movie. Would I have had that perspective 10 years ago? I don't know. The world was different then.
It seems odd to me to criticize casting if you haven't read the script and don't know the tone or the take. But the casting of high-profile projects seems to generate negative attention; it's fun to give your thumbs-up or thumbs-down. I've had the luxury recently of doing Argo, The Town and The Company Men, films that didn't have a high profile. You have the luxury of waiting until the movie is released before being judged. I've learned to think, I may succeed or fail, but I'm going to do so on the merit of my own instincts. It's a great business in that way. You do a movie that's successful, you get a little victory lap, and then you start at the beginning; you have to prove yourself all over again. I like that because it motivates you to work harder."
However, what people thought when they saw Daredevil was not good, which Affleck says he regrets because he loves the character. With Batman vs. Superman, he appears to have a chance to redeem himself.
Whether or not he can, though, we’ll have to wait until 2016 to find out.