Remember Sad Affleck? The meme that went viral around the release of “Batman v Superman?” As far as internet memes go, it’s top shelf, grade-A, high-quality goods. But after reading the new interview with the New York Times, in which Ben Affleck truly opens up about everything going on in his life including his alcoholism, his family drama, a #MeToo controversy, and, of course, his film work, it’s clear that the Sad Affleck meme actually has some truly emotional heft. To put it bluntly, it’s clear that Affleck never really enjoyed his time as Batman.
In the aforementioned interview, the conversation briefly turned to his time as the Caped Crusader. For those that don’t remember, Affleck starred as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Zack Snyder’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League.” And though his time as Batfleck (as the kids called him) was short, it wasn’t always meant to be so brief. In fact, for years, he was working on a solo ‘Batman’ film, which would have spun off from his adventures in the two previously-mentioned films.
However, as reports began to spill out, it was clear that there were issues with Affleck’s ‘The Batman.’ He was originally on board to both write and direct, in addition to star in the film. Then it was revealed that a new writer was going to help craft the story. Then came word that Affleck might not direct. And then, finally, it was clear that Warner Bros. had moved away from the actor completely and settled on director Matt Reeves and actor Robert Pattinson to bring ‘The Batman’ to theaters.
But speaking to the New York Times, it’s clear that Affleck’s motivation for leaving ‘The Batman’ was less creative and more personal. The actor was happy with the script, but he wasn’t very keen on what might happen if he made the film.
“I showed somebody ‘The Batman’ script,” Affleck said. “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.’”
Honestly, knowing Affleck’s mindset during the development of “The Batman,” no fan in their right mind would blame the guy for stepping away. As we know from seeing other actors take on these superhero roles, the films have the potential to make tons of money and become iconic, but they also are incredibly intensive and time-consuming. Not to mention, adding on the roles of writer and director would raise the pressure exponentially.
So, even if you’re the biggest diehard Snyderverse fan, you have to understand why Affleck wasn’t prepared to put on the cape and cowl again.