Back when Ben Affleck was cast as the Batman of the DC Extended Universe in 2013, the reaction from fans was polarizing to say the least. Some loved the idea, some hated it. While the reception has become more and more positive since then, Affleck still has a lot to live up to in the eyes of the general audience, especially coming off of The Dark Knight Trilogy‘s huge success.
Now, the actor-director has commented on the pressure surrounding his role and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Speaking with Variety, Affleck makes it clear that there is a lot of pressure to succeed with this film. “I think there is a ton of pressure on it. I mean I would be bulls—ting you to say there isn’t.” He adds, “We are a very kind of instant gratification culture when it comes to analyzing the film business. And there is a lot of hyperbole involved. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of pressure on it. If it doesn’t do well, that will be extremely disappointing. I leave that to the experts to decide.”
However, Affleck is very optimistic about Warner Bros.’ success next year. 2015 was a hit-and-miss year for the studio, with several films underperforming. However, with the DCEU set to expand in 2016, WB should have a more successful year. Affleck credits the long-awaited exploitation of the DC Comics brand for this potential success. “You’ll see next year they are going to have a great year. They are now developing … probably the single greatest under-exploited IP asset in the entertainment business, the DC comic world. And now they have started to exploit that and you are going to see that blossom. And, when it does, it’s going to be massive.”
Affleck then praises WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara, who has been credited with the studio’s current expansion of the DC Universe in film, television and more. The two worked together during script meetings, and Affleck commends Tsujihara for his interest and help with making the best movie possible. “I was really impressed by that and by the intelligence of his notes, and the fact that he cared. It was not like some guys, especially at that level, where it would be, ‘We need a franchise movie…we just need a movie with the names Batman and Superman on it and it doesn’t matter what it is.’ For him, that wasn’t it. He was willing to take longer to make the movie to get it right to make it a movie of higher quality.”
In addition to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad next year, Affleck has a lengthy commitment to the DCEU. He will play Batman once again in the two-part Justice League, with Part One set to begin shooting next spring. He is also expected to direct and star in a new solo Batman film, reportedly titled The Batman. It is difficult not to admire that type of commitment from a prestigious actor/filmmaker.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to hit theaters March 25th, 2016. The second installment in the DC Extended Universe stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Zack Snyder directs from a script by Chris Terrio and David S Goyer.