Oh poor, poor Ben Affleck. This is a guy who’s spent a good portion of his career getting pummeled by critics and fans alike. He endured, and eventually came out on top as both an A-list actor and an A-list director. Over the past five years or so, he’s become one of the most valuable names in Hollywood, a name that has become synonymous with quality. Even in last year’s Batman v Superman — a film that was met with heavy criticism — virtually everyone had nothing but positive things to say about his portrayal of the Caped Crusader.
Of course, with all that, we’d expect that fans would be more than a little excited about The Batman, which Affleck is set to both direct and star in for Warner Bros. And they are. They are terribly excited. In fact, everyone’s so damn on board with this, that they can’t help but bring it up in every interview with the guy. Affleck has already expressed his annoyance at this, and speaking with Entertainment Tonight Canada (via CBR), he doubled down on that narrative.
“Oh, my God, it’s such a pain in the ass. It’s like every time I mention Batman it gets this huge clickbait. When I was doing this movie it took me two years to get it together, but nobody ever asked me, ‘Where’s Live by Night?’ You know? They ask me ‘Batman, Batman, Batman.’ Batman’s coming along, it’s going to be great. We’re going to make something really special. We’re going to take the time to make it right. We’re going to do it good. We're going to do it the right way, and the fans are going to love it.”
And before you ask, no, the irony on us reporting on this story is not lost on us.
So yeah, Affleck certainly appears to be on board, despite his stress-addled comment. And we get his frustration. But with the poor critical and financial performance of Live By Night, all eyes will ironically turn back to The Batman. While every director is allowed a dud every so often, this one comes after two poorly-received DC Extended Universe films. Fans had looked at Affleck’s Batman movie as a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Now that there’s a bit of a smudge on his record, you can expect speculation of doubts to go through the roof. And let’s face it, it’s hard not to do so.
As mentioned above, Affleck is an actor who’s faced more than his fair share of public criticism. On the heels of his first flop, it wouldn’t be the craziest thing in the world if he began to have doubts surrounding his involvement in the DCEU. Now that’s not to say we think he's going to bail. When all said and done, Affleck is someone who’s been around for a while. He has thick skin and knows exactly how the business works, and despite his annoyance, I think he knew what he signed on for when he agreed to helm the project.
Take all the time you need, Affleck. The DCEU needs the best possible Batman, not the fastest Batman.
What do you think of Affleck’s comments? Do you consider this a red flag, or is this pretty much what you can expect when you poke and prod someone about the same film non-stop? Let us know your thoughts down below!