While he’ll return to the role one last time for an appearance in The Flash, Ben Affleck was all too ready to hang up the cape and cowl after the time he had with Justice League. First appearing in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck reprised his role as Batman in Justice League with Snyder initially on board to direct. Partway through production, Snyder dropped out due to a family tragedy leading to Joss Whedon controversially taking over as new director of the film.
Problems behind the scenes of Justice League got to be too much for Affleck to the point where he wasn’t having any fun at all with his time as Batman. As the actor details in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, it was while he was working on that movie that he decided that as big of a role as this was, he just didn’t want to do it anymore. This also led to his eventual exit from The Batman as well, which was originally conceived as a solo film for Affleck’s Batman.
“Directing Batman is a good example,” Affleck says. “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. 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.”
He added: “It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me. 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 [director] 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. 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.”
After backing out of The Batman, Ben Affleck had no intention of ever putting the Batsuit back on. He was enticed to give the character a farewell by the scenes in store for him in The Flash, a followup to Justice League. It’s not yet clear what will happen with Affleck’s Batman, but the actor has suggested that this will be his final appearance in the role. In the same film, Michael Keaton’s Batman will be coming in, and it seems like he’s taking over as the DCEU’s Batman, given his recent casting in the role for HBO Max’s Batgirl movie.
We can all see Affleck’s final performance as Batman in The Flash when the movie speeds into theaters on Nov. 4, 2022. More footage of Affleck as the brooding superhero can also be seen in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a four-hour cut that’s more in line with Snyder’s original vision of the film, streaming on HBO Max.