"I Wasn't Happy": Ben Affleck Explains Why He Quit Batman Role

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·2-min read
"I Wasn't Happy": Ben Affleck Explains Why He Quit Batman Role
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  • Ben Affleck
    Ben Affleck
    American film actor, director and screenwriter
  • Matt Damon
    Matt Damon
    American actor

Next-gen gadgets, bulletproof supercars and enough money to buy the world over: it would be fair to say that taking up the mantle of Bruce Wayne — and, therefore, Batman — would be anyone's dream gig.

But as a new Entertainment Weekly interview with Ben Affleck proves, all that is gold does not glitter. Speaking to the Hollywood entertainment publication with Matt Damon, the Oscar-winning actor lifted the veil on the difficulties he experienced while playing Gotham's caped crusader across five films (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Justice League, Zack Snyder's Justice League, The Flash.

"I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons," Affleck told Damon. "Not blaming anybody, there's a lot of things that happened. But really what it was is that I wasn't happy. I didn't like being there."

"I didn't think it was interesting. Then some really shitty things, awful things happened. But that's when I was like, I'm not going to do this anymore." It was then Affleck revealed that he confided in a close friend on what to do once filming had wrapped. "In fact, I talked to you [Matt Damon] about it, and you were a principal influence in that decision," he said to EW.

"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 likeable. 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."

Despite his departure from the DC universe, Affleck left a lasting impression as the caped hero and, just as Christian Bale did when he donned the Batsuit, Affleck's tenure as Gotham's hero saw the actor take on a brutal training regime before principal photography. Affleck worked with Hollywood trainer Magnus Lygdback t0 create a realistic physicality for Batman's fighting prowess and an athletic, muscular frame. "Our goals to build Ben as Batman were to build, leg strength, stability," Lygdback said to Men's Health. "You know Batman's carrying around this heavy suit all day on set, so we needed Ben to have the support he needed to carry that suit [and] there's an element of martial arts in the movie that we also wanted to capture."

Affleck's last outing as Batman will be in 2022's Justice League spin-off The Flash, with the actor leaving the legacy to Robert Pattinson, who takes up the mantle in Matt Reeves' The Batman, which is set to release in March 2022.

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