Is Ben Affleck Trying to Distance Himself from ‘The Batman’?
2016 was a rough year for Ben Affleck, noted Jennifer Garner spouse and one-time star of Gigli. His big starring vehicle Batman v Superman made a whole lot of money but was critically reviled almost across the board, his latest directorial effort Live by Night got a quiet and unceremonious limited release that was buried in the holiday craziness, he was spotted sadly vaping in a car, and now a pall of uncertainty has been cast over his future. He’s confirmed for Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League crossover, but Affleck’s relationship with the Dark Knight’s cowl and cape may be getting a bit strained. In a new interview, Affleck indicated that what was once presumed to be set in stone is, in fact, still up for debate.
Specifically, I’m referring to his involvement with The Batman, the next proposed solo film for Bruce Wayne. Variety notes that Batfleck told the industry rag that “everything is coming together” as recently as two weeks ago, but more up-to-date comment provided to The Guardian reflects an ambivalence toward the project. Affleck is slated to both star and direct, but when speaking with the British newspaper, he said, “But it’s not a set thing and there’s no script. If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great I’m not going to do it.” This gels with a similar comment he made to Entertainment Weekly in December, saying “I’m not going to write and direct anything that I don’t think is good enough to be made.”
It’s a pretty safe stance for a creative type to take — “I’m in, unless it’s bad, in which case count me out!” — but it does seem like a tacit admission that Affleck was at least partially aware of how dire Batman v Superman was. And everyone knows that admitting one’s mistakes is the first step on the long road to recovery.