Ben Affleck says his lifelong friend Matt Damon was “a principal influence” on his decision to exit his role as Batman in the DC Extended Universe.
Matt Damon helped Ben Affleck make the decision to exit his role as Batman in the DC Extended Universe. The two actors have been close friends since they were kids and their careers have been heavily entwined since they achieved overnight success with Good Will Hunting in 1997, which earned the duo an Academy Award for best original screenplay. This past year, Damon and Affleck penned their second script together, The Last Duel, a film directed by Ridley Scott which they also co-starred in.
Affleck debuted as the DCEU’s Dark Knight in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and reprised the role in Suicide Squad, Justice League, and the subsequent Snyder cut. He was once meant to star in a solo outing set in the DCEU which he was also going to write, direct, and produce. Affleck eventually dropped out of the Batman project for a variety of reasons, allowing Matt Reeves to come aboard and rework it with Robert Pattinson in the lead role. However, Affleck will still reprise the role for one final time in The Flash.
In a recent sit-down for Entertainment Weekly, Affleck talked about how Damon (who was actually conducting the interview) helped him decide to leave his DCEU role behind, calling him “a principal influence on that decision.” The Batman actor discussed how Justice League was a “nadir experience” for him and making The Last Duel with Damon unexpectedly renewed his love for the moviemaking process. Read what Affleck had to say below:
I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons. 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.
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.
During his press tour for The Tender Bar, Affleck has opened up about how Justice League was not an enjoyable experience for him. Though he doesn’t specify what “awful things happened” during production, Affleck is seemingly referring to his public divorce with actress Jennifer Garner that was happening around that time. The tragic death of Zack Snyder’s daughter also caused the director to step away from the project and Joss Whedon was brought on to finish the film, and their competing creative agendas are now considered to be Justice League‘s downfall.
Affleck and Damon have remained close friends as well as collaborators over the years, so it’s not a surprise they might confide in each other for life and career advice. In recent years, Affleck has largely stayed away from big-budget blockbusters in favor of more subdued and reflective dramas like The Way Back and The Tender Bar, and has seemed much happier for it. Although DCEU fans can still look forward to his final appearance as Batman in The Flash on November 4.
- The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
- DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
- Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
- The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
- Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
- Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023
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