Ben Affleck Talks ‘Justice League’ Changes, Status of ‘Batman’ Solo Film

By June 21, 2016

There’s been plenty of news about Justice League coming down the pipeline today, and we’re not finished yet! In addition to the proposed two-part narrative being reworked into a single standalone film, and the first look at the new and improved Batmobile, several journalists who visited the set last week had the privilege of chatting with the Dark Knight himself, Ben Affleck, about a number of different topics, and we’ve collected some of the best snippets for you to check out right here.

After watching a scene being filmed, Birth.Movies.Death noted that this version of Batman seemed to have a better sense of humor, as opposed to the grim and brooding version we saw in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck was quick to acknowledge the change in attitude:

“Yeah, he’s a little bit more sardonic, humor, a little more irony. He’s a little more of a man on a mission this time, as opposed to being so full of anger because of what happened at the Black Zero Event. That kind of rage that possessed him. And now he’s on a mission to get this group together, to constitute this League. But more of that sort of Bruce Wayne, wry, ironic gallows humor comes out. He’s not like a “haha” jokey, but a bit of his sort of darker humor stuff is present.”

In the previous film, Batman was very much a lone wolf, but in order to bring the members of the Justice League together, he’ll need to work with a team – which isn’t exactly his strong suit:

“Yeah, that’s sort of the interesting thing about this Batman is that on the one hand, he’s sort of the ultimate loner, but on the other hand, he’s sort of tasked with putting together a group. So is the guy who basically broods in a cave all day really the best person to put together a team of superheroes? And he doesn’t have huge success initially. He rubs some people the wrong way or they rub him the wrong way, he’s got to figure out how to play well with others. He barely knows how to play well with Alfred.”

Ezra Miller’s energetic demeanor as The Flash seems like a great complement to Bruce Wayne’s seasoned vigilante. Is it possible Batman might view him in the same light as he did the former Robin?

“That’s interesting, there’s an element of that to it. There’s a quality to what Ezra does that is young and fun and full of life, and excited about what they’re doing, that’s so in contrast to who Batman is. There’s a little bit of that natural yin and yang to playing scenes with him. There’s not the ward aspect to it, but there’s a little bit of the mentor. Which you’d probably ask Ezra and he’d be like, “Fuck that! He’s not my mentor!” But I think there is a little bit. And it’s fun to play, definitely.

And what does Batman do around a guy who’s really excited and positive all the time? [laughs] You know what I mean? That’s not his natural state of being, so that’s really fun.”

Affleck also spoke about serving as executive producer for Justice League and how it affected his approach to the role of Batman:

“Why I’m an executive producer is that I’m directing one of the movies, so there’s sort of this cross pollination of story and characters. I don’t want to give any of that stuff away, but it basically means that there are some things that might happen in my Batman that are affected by… I mean, here we are in the police station in Gotham city. There’s a potential that something like this might exist in that story. So it’s a creative way that DC came up with of kind of being a filmmaker-driven company and entity, and also making sure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing so that there’s collaboration and supervision, so that somebody doesn’t go sailing off, causing problems for your movie with their movie. You know, in a way, it’s also a kind of a courtesy. You know what they’re doing, one hand knows what the other is doing, and I get to weigh in on stuff that impacts the Batman stuff.”

/Film also captured some comments from Affleck about the status of his standalone Batman film:

“I think [Warner Bros. has] a date for it. Although, I don’t know if I would necessarily be able to make that date because I don’t have a script that’s ready yet. My timetable is I’m not going to make a movie until there’s a script that I think is good, because I’ve been on the end of the things when you make movies when you have a script that’s not good yet and it doesn’t pan out. [Laughs.]

I have a script, we’re still working on it, and I’m not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, for which I have the highest of standards, I would say. That’s something that would have to pass a very high bar for me. It’s not just like, yeah, that might be fun, let’s go try this out.”

While the Warner Bros. executives had previously confirmed Affleck would be directing a standalone Batman film, this is the first time the director himself has mentioned it publicly. And it’s great to hear that not only will he ensure that the events of Justice League don’t have a negative impact on his own film, but also that he’s not willing to move forward until the script is exactly what he wants it to be.

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films set a pretty high bar, and they’ll no doubt be the measuring stick against which Affleck’s film will be judged, so it makes sense that we would exercise some caution there.

Justice League is scheduled to hit theaters on November 17, 2017.

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Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).