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Two things that Ben Affleck ‘never’ wants to do again

It’s every kid’s dream to be a superhero.

But for Ben Affleck, his turn as Batman was the “worst experience” of his career.

The Hollywood star opened up about his time as the iconic DC hero in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Affleck’s future as the caped hero is hanging in the balance, with new DC head James Gunn in the middle of revamping its struggling cinematic universe.

Affleck’s Batman v Superman co-star Henry Cavill has already found himself on Gunn’s chopping block, with the actor’s exit from the franchise announced in December.

Gunn is yet to confirm whether Affleck will continue on as Batman.

But given Affleck’s scathing assessment of “superherodom”, his return is looking increasingly unlikely.

Muddled mess

Affleck made his Batman debut in 2016’s Batman v Superman and reprised his role a year later in Justice League.

Justice League was marred by behind-the-scenes drama, causing chaos for production.

First, director Zack Snyder made the difficult decision to exit the project after his daughter died from suicide.

He was then replaced by filmmaker Joss Whedon, who was left to fill in the gaps.

The result was a jumbled mess stuck between the two directors’ opposing visions, which was heavily panned by critics and fans alike.

The train wreck led to a worldwide campaign for DC to release the ‘Snyder cut’.

Fans’ prayers were finally answered in 2021, when Zack Snyder’s Justice League was released on HBO Max.

Dark days

Affleck confirmed that the film’s behind-the-scenes happenings were as chaotic as fans might have expected.

“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,” Affleck said.

The only redeeming part of the project, he said, was the re-release.

“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.”

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck said the filming of Justice League left a ‘monstrous taste’ in his mouth. Photo: IMDB

‘Not suited’

But even so, Affleck said the experience may have put him off both acting in and directing superhero movies for the rest of his career.

He was initially set up to write, direct and presumably star in a Batman film of his own.

But after the disaster that was Justice League, Affleck pulled out.

“I was going to direct a Batman, and [Justice League] made me go, ‘I’m out. I never want to do any of this again. I’m not suited’. That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some s–tty experiences. It broke my heart.”

With much of the DC and Marvel films filmed in front of a blue or green screen, Affleck said filming wasn’t as fulfilling as a typical non-CGI movie role.

“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 …’

“I got to a point where I found it creatively not satisfying,” Affleck said.

“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’.”

Back to the bottle

The experience was so bleak that it drove him to the bottle, he said.

Affleck has long struggled with alcohol abuse, having entered rehab three times in the past – in 2001, 2017 and 2018.

The actor says his drinking was the driving factor in his divorce from ex-wife Jennifer Garner. They separated in 2015, before finalising their divorce in 2018.

With all the behind-the-scenes havoc of Justice League, the stressed actor fell back into bad habits.

“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’.”

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck pictured with ex-wife Jennifer Garner in 2013. Photo: Getty

‘Nailed it’

Despite his clear disdain for the panned Justice League, Affleck said he is proud of some of his work as Batman.

He clarified that he liked “a lot” about his debut in Batman v Superman – and managed to improve upon it again in the upcoming Flash movie.

“I did finally figure out how to play that character [Batman], and I nailed it in The Flash. For the five minutes I’m there, it’s really great,” he said.

“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.”

Affleck’s confirmed last appearance as Batman is in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, which has been riddled with problems of its own.

According to reports, much of the film has been edited to reduce the number of scenes with actor Amber Heard, following her sticky legal battle against ex-husband Johnny Depp.

The Flash has also been fraught with controversy. The film’s star, Ezra Miller, is currently on probation after a mountain of legal troubles in recent years.

Many DC fans had called for the actor’s replacement after the star was accused of grooming, kidnapping and violence, among other disturbing allegations.

The non-binary actor released a statement in August 2022, saying they were seeking help for “complex mental health issues”.

There were even rumours that the film’s cinematic release had been cancelled. However, the official trailer for The Flash premiered during Super Bowl LVII, announcing that the film would arrive on June 16.

Topics: Movies
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