Filming on The Batman is currently underway. Robert Pattinson is under the cape and cowl and Matt Reeves is in the director's chair. But, in an alternate universe not too far removed from the one we're living in, it was Ben Affleck playing the Caped Crusader, in addition to handling directing duties for the highly-anticipated DC Comics adaptation. Now, Affleck has opened up a bit about his exit from the project.
Ben Affleck has been promoting his new movie The Way Back, one of several projects he has coming out this year. During a recent interview, he was asked about his exit from The Batman, which he had been developing for some time ahead of the release of Justice League before deciding to walk away as director and, ultimately, from the role altogether. Affleck started by saying he feels Robert Pattinson is going to do a great job.
"I think Robert's a great actor, he's going to do great."
Getting more into specifics, Ben Affleck explained that he liked the script that he co-wrote for the movie alongside Geoff Johns. If that's the case, then why did he decided to leave The Batman behind? Quite simply, he lost his passion for it.
"We had a script. I liked the script, I wrote it with Geoff Johns, who I have a lot of respect for. It just so happened that I had done a couple of those movies, and I kind of lost my passion for it. You know what I mean? I kind of lost my passion for telling those stories, I got interested in telling stories more like this, and it just seemed like very clear to me that if it's not the most important thing in the world to you, you're not going to make a very good movie. The movie deserves to be made by someone whose dying to do it and can't wait, and that wasn't me at the time, so I moved on."
Not much has been revealed about that script, but Deathstroke was to be the main villain, played by Joe Manganiello. Ben Affleck was cast as our new Bruce Wayne by Zack Snyder in 2013 for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. That movie proved to be divisive, to say the very least of it. Affleck reprised the role, briefly, in Suicide Squad and returned for the tumultuous Justice League. Snyder left the project before it was complete and Joss Whedon came in to finish it, which led to extensive reshoots and rewrites.
Rather candidly, Ben Affleck also explained that his drinking escalated during these years and that a friend said he would likely drink himself to death if he moved forward with The Batman. Instead, he officially walked away in January 2019, paving the way for Robert Pattinson to usher in a new era for the character on screen. The Batman is set to hit theaters on June 25, 2021. You can check out the full interview from Jake Hamilton's YouTube channel.