As we continue to celebrate Batman’s 75th anniversary this year, we keep hearing news slowly trickle out about Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s plans for the future of their most famous comic book superhero film franchises. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is filming now, a Justice League movie is happening after that, and an Aquaman film is in development – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. As you all know, Ben Affleck has been cast as the new Batman, and while he’s spoken a bit about taking on the role before, Entertainment Weekly sat down with Affleck for a discussion about his upcoming film Gone Girl and managed to sneak in a few questions about his upcoming turn wearing the cape and cowl.
On what it’s like to play Batman:
I’m right in the middle of shooting now. It’s a process that I’ll probably have better perspective on when I’m done. I can tell you that every time I do a role, it’s the responsibility of an actor to get their physical self as close to the role as possible. And Batman’s obviously got a set of expectations that are tough. So I spent a lot of time working out. And it’s a far cry from Gone Girl where my character is described as “puffy and hungover.” I want you to know I worked equally hard at both! [laughs]
On the backlash when he was initially cast:
Before I took the role, Warner Bros. gave me a bunch of past reactions to casting and said, “Are you sure you want to get into this? This is part and parcel of these movies now. There’s a lot of active fans with a lot of opinions.” To me, having been through a certain amount of that, it doesn’t really… Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I wouldn’t have taken the part if I didn’t trust my instincts in terms of the filmmaking. I think Chris Terrio wrote a terrific script. Zack’s a great visual director. And there’s an interesting take. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t think I could do it. I have the benefit of a lot of that understanding. But also, everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s a big part of this international sport. The Fifty Shades of Grey kid or whatever it is. That’s sort of become a thing.
On vocal fans:
You know what? It’s great that people do care that much. They want to see the movie that much. And it is incumbent on you to honor the story. There are the Greek myths and these are the American myths. The American myths are these superheroes. People care about ‘em a lot. And it’s incumbent on you to do a good job and make it as excellent as you possibly can. At the end of the day, the movie’s all that matters.
Not a bad way to look at things, but then again I wouldn’t expect anything less from Affleck these days. The guy has been through a lot in his career, and has dropped to some pretty incredible lows, and it’s a Hollywood miracle that he’s been able to go from the “Bennifer” days to one of the most respected and admired actors and directors in town. He doesn’t “need” to play Batman, which is why I think his take on it is going to be really interesting; he’s already proven himself, and coupled with the fact that he’ll be playing an older version of the character, it should be fascinating to see the different way he approaches a Bruce Wayne and Batman who is maybe a bit more worn down than other film versions of the Caped Crusader.
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