With ‘Justice League’ due out next week, the cast is out making the rounds of talk shows and other outlets to get fans whipped into a frenzy. But is the grind getting to be too much? If there’s one among them that should be the biggest pro at the publicity game, it’s Ben Affleck, the movie’s Batman/Bruce Wayne. Affleck is one of the most respected writers/directors/actors in Hollywood, but he’s also used to being in the spotlight off screen, having spent many years as a tabloid mainstay. He should be able to deflect scrutiny like Wonder Woman deflects bullets. But he is only human, after all.
While promoting ‘Justice League’, Affleck was asked by ‘Extra! TV’ if he would make at least two more film appearances as Batman, bringing his total to five, after ‘Batman V Superman’, ‘Suicide Squad’ (which was just a cameo) and ‘Justice League’.
“I don’t know about that. We’ll see what the future holds.”
Not exactly an emphatic reaction. Affleck had been gung-ho about his approach to playing the iconic Caped Crusader. He reportedly helped rework the ‘Batman V Superman’ script as it was filming. And of course, he was slated to star in and direct ‘The Batman’, his first solo DC outing. Things were clicking along just fine, with Joe Manganiello cast as villain Deathstroke. Affleck even released a short piece of footage of Manganiello in the Deathstroke armor online.
But things quickly unraveled when ‘Batman V Superman’ was trashed by critics and fans. Affleck’s crestfallen reaction became a viral meme. After ‘Suicide Squad”s mixed reaction, things on ‘The Batman’ also started to fall apart, with Affleck eventually vacating the director’s chair.
Off screen, Affleck and his wife Jennifer Garner filed for divorce after a ten-year marriage and Affleck was recently accused of sexual misconduct stemming from a 2003 incident. These factors also must have taken their toll on Affleck’s disposition.
Anticipation for ‘Justice League’ is high but fans are still apprehensive. ‘Wonder Woman’ was a solid smash in WB’s DC series but was directed by Patty Jenkins with little input from Zack Snyder, director of ‘BvS’ and one-time architect of the DCEU. But Snyder directed the bulk of ‘Justice League’ before leaving the project and turning it over to Joss Whedon to retool and reshoot portions of. Snyder was still largely the man behind this film and after ‘BvS’ (and to a lesser degree ‘Man of Steel’), that’s something that worries fans.
But if Affleck walks away, then what? Recast? Write Batman out? Replace Bruce Wayne?
Perhaps it would be best to wait and see how ‘Justice League’ turns out to judge, but as of now, do you want to see more of Affleck’s Batman? Or Would you like to see him replaced?