Ben Affleck talks about being cast as Batman in the MAN OF STEEL sequel, and the subsequent internet backlash

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At this point in time, we’ve heard from just about everybody who possesses an internet connection, at least two working fingers and often nowhere near as much brain cells on the surprise casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in Zack Snyder’s still untitled Man of Steel sequel. For a while there it looked like we may just have been on the brink of a global exclamation mark shortage as “fans” raged against the announcement.

But now that most of these people have finally quieted down a bit (or ran out of new ways to say rude things), it’s time to hear from the jawline himself, Ben Affleck, on what he thinks of it all.

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Affleck was a guest on the Jimmy Fallon Show (transcript via Empire) where he revealed that he was actually also skeptical about his eligibility for the role at first, until he saw the direction that Snyder was heading in with the character.

“It’s so awesome, man. I’m so excited. They called me up and asked me if I wanted to do this. And I said, ‘I’m not 25, man, are you sure about this?’ And they said, ‘Come down, we wanna show you what we’re doing.’ Zack Snyder’s directing it and he has this amazing take on it. Obviously you can’t do what Christian [Bale] did, those movies were amazing. But Zack wants to something different but still in keeping with that.

“I thought this was a brilliant way to do this. I know how to hook into this. And I said, ‘Okay, I wanna do this.’ The people from the studio were like, ‘We’re thrilled, we’re so excited…’ and they arranged it.”

He also revealed that he and Warner Bros were fully aware of the keyboard crusader rage that would probably be coming their way for the decision, but knowing something is coming and being able to deal with it, are two very different things.

“They said, ‘Listen, people go through this process and it can be trying. We want to show you some of the reactions that previous people who’ve been cast received on the internet.’ So they send me examples of people who were in these movies and did a great job. These things were like, ‘Kill him!’ And he was amazing! You can’t say anything before the movie comes out. It doesn’t matter what you think then, it matters what you think after the movie comes out.

“But I thought, ‘I’m a big boy. I can handle any snub. I can handle anything.’ They said don’t use the internet for a few days, but I handle shit. So I looked at the first comment and it says ‘NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!’ And I was done! We’re going to be Luddites for a while.

Part of it is when you see the material, when you see the takes, it’s hard to describe without giving away the story, what it is. But I feel like I have a lot of opportunities now, and this is something that’s really exciting.”

As somebody who lived on a veritable full-on diet of crow after all my initial doom-mongering about the casting of Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight was proven to be hogwash, I’m now a devout believer in not judging casting decisions until I’ve seen the movie. As such, I have to say that the backlash that Affleck received for this was the very definition of ridiculous. He’s worked hard over the last couple of years to reinvent himself as a serious power player in Hollywood, churning out one amazing movie after the other, and yet, despite all that, with a single press release he was back to being that guy in Gigli again.

And it’s that recent record that fills me with even more hope for Battfleck, as his initial skepticism and then coming around to the role, tells me that he was confident enough in what he saw from Snyder and co. And that’s good enough for me right now.

So let’s wait until we actually see him in the suit to judge what he’ll be like in the suit, and save our unbridled, keyboard smashing rage for things that truly deserve it (people who take forever at ATM’s, for example – WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WITHDRAWING MONEY IN CUSTOM ENGRAVED GOLD INGOTS?!!).

Last Updated: September 18, 2013

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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