Ben Affleck wouldn’t direct a DC movie after “monstrous” Justice League experience

Cameron Frew
Ben Affleck as Batman in Justice League

Many fans believed Ben Affleck was attached to direct a DC movie, perhaps even the studio’s Batman reboot – but that’s “absolutely not” happening after his “miserable” time on Justice League.

We’re months away from the end of the DCEU as we know it with The Flash. It began with 2013’s Man of Steel, and Affleck made his first appearance in 2016’s Batman v Superman.

One year later, the franchise secured a lifetime of infamy from Justice League, Joss Whedon’s bastardized version of Zack Snyder’s team-up movie.

It was somewhat remedied with the Snyder Cut in 2021, and while Affleck will don the cowl once more this summer, his time as Batman and in the world of superheroes appears to be over.

Ben Affleck responds to rumors he’s directing a DC movie for James Gunn

Amid the fallout of James Gunn and Peter Safran unveiling the promising beginnings of their “Gods and Monsters” DCU slate, rumors started to circulate about Affleck’s involvement somewhere behind the camera. Given he was once attached to direct his own Batman movie, some suspected he may finally get his chance with Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

How wrong we all were. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of Air, Affleck candidly discussed how his experience on Justice League put him off directing a DC movie.

“I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not. I have nothing against James Gunn. Nice guy, sure he’s going to do a great job. I just wouldn’t want to go in and direct in the way they’re doing that. I’m not interested in that,” he said.

The star spoke about the DCEU’s stories becoming “repetitive and less interesting” and the calamitous production of Justice League. “You could teach a seminar on all the reasons why this is how not to do it. Ranging from production to bad decisions to horrible personal tragedy, and just ending with the most monstrous taste in my mouth,” he continued.

Ben Affleck was going to direct a Batman movie… until Justice League

“I was going to direct a Batman, and [Justice League] made me go, ‘I’m out. I never want to do any of this again. I’m not suited.’ That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some shitty experiences,” Affleck said.

“It broke my heart. There was an idea of someone [Joss Whedon] coming in, like, ‘I’ll rescue you and we’ll do 60 days of shooting and I’ll write a whole thing around what you have. I’ve got the secret.’ And it wasn’t the secret. That was hard.

Ben Affleck as Batman and Zack Snyder

“And I started to drink too much. I was back at the hotel in London, it was either that or jump out the window. And I just thought, ‘This isn’t the life I want. My kids aren’t here. I’m miserable.’

“You want to go to work and find something interesting to hang onto, rather than just wearing a rubber suit, and most of it you’re just standing against the computer screen going, ‘If this nuclear waste gets loose, we’ll…’ That’s fine. I don’t condescend to that or put it down, but I got to a point where I found it creatively not satisfying.

“Also, just, you’re sweaty and exhausted. And I thought, ‘I don’t want to participate in this in any way. And I don’t want to squander any more of my life, of which I have a limited amount.'”

The Flash speeds into cinemas on June 16, 2023. You can find out more about the movie here.

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