Now that the initial fervor over Ben Affleck‘s casting as Batman in Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice has died down, or at least reached a low simmer on the Internet, the unusually tight-lipped Affleck has begun to talk about his role in the movie and fans reactions. No matter where you sit on the Batfleck Fence, you should at least hear the man out. You might be surprised by his answers.
When the casting was first announced, the Internet exploded with Batfleck memes, here’s some of our favorites:
These days I find myself leaning toward the side that thinks that Affleck will pull it off. He’s done some amazing work in The Town and if he brings that same attitude to Batman, he’ll do fine. What I am interested in is what Affleck thinks about the character.
Let’s find out what he had to say to EW in a recent interview. EW started by asking what it was like to portray 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]
We’ve seen pictures of Affleck after one of his workouts and he does have the Batman build now.
In response to EW’s question about the fan Internet reaction to his casting in the Batman role Affleck said:
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.
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.
Hmm, there’s a lot to chew on there.Those past Batman casting reactions had to include Heath Ledger‘s casting as the Joker. The Internet exploded back then as well, and we all know how that turned out. Ledger gave an incredible performance, diving so far into the character of the Joker that many believe it contributed to his accidental death by overdose. We all want Affleck to give that same level of performance without the tragic after-effects.
His comment about the 50 Shades of Grey kid must be a reference to the Internet response to the casting of Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) in the lead role. He later officially pulled out of the movie due to scheduling conflicts, we can read between the lines and see that the studio and Hunnam weren’t happy with fan reactions to the casting.
Of course he doesn’t go into any specifics about his Batman role, DC and Warner Bros. have spoiler-snipers in the tower just like Marvel, as well as iron clad contracts and disclosure clauses. What is interesting is his thoughts on superheros being an American Mythos. Superheroes as the modern Greek heroes of myth. That’s a great attitude to have toward the characters and we can, at this point, hope that Affleck carries out his promise to do the best work he can.
Where do you find yourself after reading his comments? Did it change your mind or were you already poised to give him a shot?