Playing Batman might have seemed like a dream role at first for Ben Affleck when he first took on the role in the DCEU, but by the end of his time filming Justice League, the actor was deadset on never playing the superhero again. In the past, Affleck has been rather open about the fact that he did not have a good experience at all filming the crossover movie. As he details in a new chat with longtime friend Matt Damon for Entertainment Weekly, he doesn’t blame any one person in particular, but what he knew was that he wasn’t happy.
“I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons. Not blaming anybody, there’s a lot of things that happened. But really what it was is that I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like being there. I didn’t think it was interesting. And then some really s—ty things, awful things happened. But, that’s when I was like, I’m not going to do that anymore.”
The Justice League shoot was rife with problems, most notably the changing of directors partway through production. Because of a family tragedy, Zack Snyder abruptly left the film, leading to Joss Whedon taking over as director. At the time, Affleck recalls telling Damon about the situation which led to a revelation. It was through that chat that Affleck realized he only wanted to pursue projects that made him happy.
“In fact, I talked to you about it and you were a principal influence on that decision. I want to do the things that would bring me joy. Then we went and did Last Duel and I had fun every day on this movie. I wasn’t the star, I wasn’t likable. I was a villain. I wasn’t all the things I thought I was supposed to be when I started out and yet it was a wonderful experience. And it was all just stuff that came along that I wasn’t chasing… My only thing is that now I live in fear every time I do another movie, I’m like, Do I still feel that, am I still good? I’m afraid it’s going to go away, you know? ‘Cause it’s elusive. But I’m happy now. I’m feeling it now. And I do think I’ve gotten better. I think people generally get better with the age and experience.”
Ben Affleck Is Proud of The Last Duel Despite its Box Office Shortcomings
The Last Duel reunited Ben Affleck and Matt Damon with the two actors featured as part of an ensemble cast alongside Jodie Comer and Adam Driver. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film was praised by critics, but the problem was that not enough people bothered to go see it in the theater. The movie flopped at the box office, something Ridley Scott blamed on apathetic millennials. Affleck says he’s proud of the movie and also suggested that the problem was with filmgoers preferring to watch lengthy dramas at home these days.
“The Last Duel really clinched it for me. I’ve had bad movies that didn’t work and I didn’t blink. I know why people didn’t go — because they weren’t good. But I liked what we did. I like what we had to say. I’m really proud of it. So I was really confused. And then to see that it did well on streaming, I thought, ‘Well, there you go. That’s where the audience is.’”
As for Batman, Affleck was convinced into returning to that role one last time for a special appearance in The Flash. He recently referred to his work on that movie as his favorite content he’s ever made as Batman. We’ll see how it goes when the film is released on Nov. 4, 2022.