Ben Affleck has finally opened up, in a very candid manner, about his departure from The Batman. Let’s rewind the clocks to April 2016. It is confirmed that Affleck, coming fresh off of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, was set to not only star in, but direct and co-write a new Batman solo movie. That didn’t end up happening, and the writing was on the wall following the release of Justice League that Affleck’s time under the cape and cowl was coming to an end. But for the first time, he has shed some light on the situation and what was going on behind the scenes in his personal life.
The information comes from a very candid profile piece on Ben Affleck, who is about to make his return to the screen in The Way Back. Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) recently started production on The Batman, with Robert Pattinson (Twillight, The Lighthouse) serving as our new Caped Crusader. Reeves took over the gig once Affleck exited the director’s chair. Speaking about why he decided to step back, Affleck explained that it had to do with his issues with alcohol. Here’s what he had to say.
“I drank relatively normally for a long time. What happened was that I started drinking more and more when my marriage was falling apart. This was 2015, 2016. My drinking, of course, created more marital problems.”
Zack Snyder cast Ben Affleck as Batman in 2013 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That movie proved to be quite divisive. During this time, his marriage to Jennifer Garner was falling apart as well. All of this contributed to his issues with drinking and, ultimately, why he didn’t move forward with The Batman. Speaking further, Affleck said this particularly revealing bit.
“I showed somebody The Batman script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again’.”
What he had just gone through was a tumultuous production on Justice League. Zack Snyder had a vision for the movie that never saw the light of day. The filmmaker departed before it was finished, with Joss Whedon coming in to oversee massive rewrites and expensive, extensive reshoots. That took a toll on Ben Affleck. Heading into another high-stress situation, as The Batman undoubtedly would have been, simply wasn’t the right thing for him to do.
What we know about Affleck’s abandoned version of the movie is that it would have featured Deathstroke as the main villain. The actor and director posted some test footage of Joe Manganiello as the DC baddie, which stirred the excitement of fans at the time. Instead, Matt Reeves is bringing us something entirely new, set outside the DCEU, while Affleck explores projects outside of the superhero realm. This news comes to us via then New York Times.