Over the past few months we’ve heard rumors and musings on Ben Affleck, his role as Batman, the “will he or won’t he” when it comes to continuing the role, but very rarely have we actually heard the actor say anything beyond confirming or denying the rumors. Think about it, can you think of a time Affleck actually talked about the character of Batman and his role in the DCEU? Thanks to an interview over on the Daily Sabah, we actually get a firsthand account of how Affleck feels about playing the role, why he chose to step away from directing The Batman, and how he views the actual character himself.
On the tone of Justice League and Batman being less of the overly brooding type, Affleck said:
I like this version of Batman a lot. It was a lot to carry around the danger of being angry and resentful of Superman the whole time, which led to a darker tone. And with this one, Batman is not a Joker and is not as funny, but is hilarious, as the straight man to Flash and other people. That’s a nice dynamic to get to play off of somebody and have a little bit more irony and have a little bit more self-awareness, a little bit more fun with the movie. That was great.
As for Batman himself, Affleck touched upon the nature of the character and his dual identity as Bruce Wayne and Batman:
In the movie, we see the most extreme version, which is that we have Bruce Wayne, who is the real person, and Batman, who is really a projection, and he kind of takes advantage of the fact that he is mysterious, unknown, dark, avenging, coming out of the shadows and secretive, which helps him very much. That kind of dual identity helps him do what he needs to do. And the question for me sometimes was “What is the real mask? Is Bruce Wayne the mask or is Batman the mask?”
It’s clear that Affleck has thought deeply about the character rather than just donning the armor and cashing his paycheck. It’s a debate we’ve seen in many circles on which identity is the mask and which is the true Bruce Wayne/Batman. It’s this deep involvement in the handling of the character that factored into Affleck’s decision to step away from directing a solo Batman film:
For me, it’s interesting, and I always evaluate this stuff on the merit of the material. I want to direct a “Batman” movie, and I never got a script that I was happy with, so they are starting over and writing another script. And right now, I think a lot of different possibilities I think for the way the DC Universe could go, and I will just follow my interests in pursing that. And I know that I love working with this group of people, and it was a real joy for me to make this movie.
Putting aside that he sidesteps any mention of playing the character in the future, it’s fairly obvious that Affleck has a strong affinity for the creative process of film making and if he continues in the role or steps away, his decision will at least in some part be based on what’s best for the character himself.
What do you think of Affleck’s comments? Are you hopeful that he continues on in the role or will you understand why he may step aside? Let us know in the comments!