Some die-hard DC Comics fans will recall the moment they learnt Ben Affleck would be playing Batman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Ben Affleck confesses that the initial outcry over his casting hurt him. When he joined the DCEU, he was no stranger to the comic book movie world, having previously portrayed Matt Murdock in the Daredevil picture. The excitement that erupted when he was confirmed to portray Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was quite the opposite.
Affleck had recently finished filming Argo, for which he received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. He was on a high, and the internet’s condemnation of the mere suggestion that he might portray Batman was perplexing to many (including, apparently, Affleck himself).
Affleck said on The Howard Stern Show, “I was hurt. I was less hurt than I would’ve been 10 years earlier. But I was hurt because I felt like ‘Wait a minute, come on. What do I got to do to’ you know what I mean? Like, I’m just you know, like, ‘Jesus Christ’… I thought it was an interesting idea but you know what? I also realized at that point…it’s gonna be, ‘Now this turns into a petition.’ Now they got this thing, everybody’s going to do a petition. You’re really – a hundred thousand [signatures], you signed a f*cking petition like, you have anything better to do with your day than sign petitions? But, ironically, the reason I did this is I wanted to do a movie for my kids, particularly my son, that they would see and be proud of.”
The star’s petition he mentioned gathered a lot of traction immediately. One can understand how the actor from Tender Bar feels about that. The thought of so many people opposing you accepting a job before you’ve even performed it would be extremely exhausting for almost anybody. The large amount of signatures, however, did not prevent Warner Bros. or Zack Snyder from pursuing their preferred Caped Crusader.
It’s unfortunate that all of those nasty remarks had such an impact on Affleck, particularly considering he had long aspired to play Batman. Despite this, he was able to realize his ambition, which he would revisit in one last film.
Since then, Affleck has spoken openly about his time on the DC Extended Universe and what he’s learned from it.
Director Zack Snyder sought to carry the DCEU ahead after 2013’s Man of Steel by gradually building up to the debut of the Justice League. Because Henry Cavill’s Superman was already a well-established figure in the series, the director chose to follow him up with the introduction of the next most popular DC hero, Batman. Rather than portraying a younger version of the hero, Snyder decided to portray an older, more hardened version of the hero, thus distinguishing him from his predecessors. Fans, however, were less than enthusiastic about the notion.