Like it or not, Ben Affleck is our next Batman, and he’ll be donning the cape and cowl in 2015’s Man of Steel sequel. While there’s been a tremendous amount of Internet hate levied against the Oscar winner, particularly because of his poorly-received role in 2001’s Daredevil, Affleck has taken it all in stride.
Affleck recently sat down for a chat with Playboy magazine, and the question of his casting inevitably came up. Here’s what he had to say, courtesy of Latino Review:
PLAYBOY: When Warner Bros. named you Batman, the internet exploded with hostility. After climbing back from career adversity to win the best picture Oscar forArgo, was your initial reaction more “Not Again” or “Screw You”?
AFFLECK: It wasn’t either, really. I expected that reaction. Warner Bros. told me, “You should know what you’re getting into.” They showed me the reactions to other folks who had been cast in these roles. They said this is how it tends to play out initially.
PLAYBOY: What convinced you?
AFFLECK: When they asked if I would be Batman, I told them I don’t see myself in the role and I was going to have to beg off. They said I’d fit well into how they were going to approach the character and asked me to look at what the writer-director, Zack Snyder, was doing. The stuff was incredible.
AFFLECK: It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited. All of a sudden I had a reading of the character. When people see it, it will make more sense than it does now or even than it did to me initially.
PLAYBOY: How will your Batman differ from the others, particularly the one played by Christian Bale?
AFFLECK: I don’t want to give away too much, but the idea for the new Batman is to redefine him in a way that doesn’t compete with the Bale and Chris NolanBatman but still exists within the Batman canon. It will be an older and wiser version, particularly as he relates to Henry Cavill’s Superman character.
PLAYBOY: How much did the hostile fan reaction bother you?
AFFLECK: I understand I’m at a disadvantage with the internet. If I thought the result would be another Daredevil, I’d be out there picketing myself. [laughs]Why would I make the movie if I didn’t think it was going to be good and that I can be good in it?
PLAYBOY: George Clooney kept a photo of himself as Batman on his office wall as a reminder of what can happen when you take a role for money and fame. If you had such a photo in your office, which movie would you go with?
AFFLECK: I’d probably have two or three. [laughs]It’d be tough to choose. The only movie I actually regret is Daredevil. It just kills me. I love that story, that character, and the fact that it got fucked up the way it did stays with me. Maybe that’s part of the motivation to do Batman.
Zack Snyder’s sequel to Man of Steel opens on July 17, 2015.