If you’re disappointed that Ben Affleck walked away from the role of Batman right as it was beginning to ramp up, you have two men to blame: Affleck, obviously, and his old friend and collaborator, Matt Damon.
In a new and wide-ranging interview with Entertainment Weekly — conducted by Damon — Affleck reiterates many of the things he has been saying in the press lately about his experience on Justice League; that it was a “nadir” experience, that he “wasn’t happy” doing it and that he “didn’t think it was interesting.” Eventually, he says, he decided “I’m not going to do that anymore.” As a result, he quit The Batman, the solo Dark Knight film he was supposed star in and direct.
In the interview, he credits a talk with Damon as the “principal influence” on his choice. He said:
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.
The Last Duel was one of the best movies of last year, and Affleck was great in it. If his decision to quit doing Justice League stuff means more films and performances like The Last Duel, I’m all for it. (I did think he was a good Batman though.) The Batman, now with Robert Pattinson instead of Ben Affleck, is scheduled to open in theaters on March 4, 2022.
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