Ben Affleck Says Matt Damon Helped Convince Him to Leave Batman Behind
According to Justice League star Ben Affleck, longtime friend and colleague Matt Damon helped convince him to hang up his cowl as the DC Extended Universe's Batman.
Affleck recently sat down for an interview conducted by both Entertainment Weekly and Damon, the latter of whom Affleck recently starred alongside in director Ridley Scott's The Last Duel. "I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons," Affleck said. "Not blaming anybody, there's a lot of things that happened. But really what it was is that I wasn't happy. I didn't like being there. I didn't think it was interesting. And then some really s---ty things, awful things happened. But, that's when I was like, I'm not going to do that anymore."
Addressing Damon directly, Affleck continued, "In fact, I talked to you about it and you were a principal influence on that decision. I want to do the things that would bring me joy. Then we went and did Last Duel and I had fun every day on this movie. I wasn't the star, I wasn't likable. I was a villain. I wasn't all the things I thought I was supposed to be when I started out and yet it was a wonderful experience. And it was all just stuff that came along that I wasn't chasing."
Affleck and Damon have worked on numerous projects together over the years, perhaps the most famous of the bunch being 1997's Good Will Hunting, which they wrote and starred in, ultimately taking home the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Affleck and Damon have also appeared in multiple films in writer-director Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse franchise, sharing the most screentime together in 1999's Dogma, in which they played a pair of fallen angels attempting to scam their way back into Heaven.
This isn't the first time Affleck has opened up regarding the personal struggles he was going through around the time he was working on the 2017 DCEU film Justice League. "It was reallyJustice League that was the nadir for me," Affleck recently told The Los Angeles Times. "That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then Zack [Snyder]'s personal tragedy and the reshooting. It just was the worst experience. It was awful. It was everything that I didn't like about this. That became the moment where I said, 'I'm not doing this anymore.' It's not even about, like, Justice League was so bad. Because it could have been anything."
In that same interview, Affleck discussed why he stepped down from The Batman, which he was originally slated to direct and star in as the DCEU's Dark Knight before the project was reworked into a standalone movie directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson. "I looked at it and thought, 'I'm not going to be happy doing this. The person who does this should love it,'" Affleck said of directing The Batman. "You're supposed to always want these things, and I probably would have loved doing it at 32 or something. But it was the point where I started to realize it's not worth it. It's just a wonderful benefit of reorienting and recalibrating your priorities that once it started being more about the experience, I felt more at ease."
However, despite Damon helping to convince Affleck to leave Batman behind, Affleck is slated for one last appearance as the character. Affleck will reprise his role as his version of Batman in director Andy Muschietti's DCEU film The Flash, which is scheduled for release later this year on Nov. 4. He won't be the only Batman in the movie, though, with Batman and Batman Returns star Michael Keaton reprising his own version of the Dark Knight.
Source: Entertainment Weekly