Ben Affleck Says He’s Not Interested in Directing a DC Movie for James Gunn
Ben Affleck is putting a nail in the coffin of his DC tenure once and for all, including ruling out directing an upcoming DC movie under the new regime headed by James Gunn and Peter Safran.
“I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not,” the “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” star told THR. “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.”
The Oscar-winning “Argo” filmmaker was attached to direct his own “Batman” movie for a couple of years after taking on the role of the Caped Crusader in front of the camera for Zack Snyder. But he eventually departed that project altogether as Matt Reeves stepped in and rebooted the property with Robert Pattinson in the lead role.
In December, Gunn said he and Safran met with Affleck to discuss working together, saying “we want him to direct; we just have to find the right project.” Alas, it appears Affleck has no interest in revisiting the DC universe in any form or fashion.
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Affleck, whose next directorial effort is the character drama “Air” in which he stars opposite Matt Damon, told THR that making “Justice League” was what convinced him to bow out of directing a Batman movie.
“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. 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. 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.’”
Snyder directed principal photography on “Justice League” before stepping away in post-production after his daughter died by suicide. Whedon, who was already on the project to write new scenes for reshoots, was then tasked with taking over directing the additional photography. The resulting superhero team-up film was a bust with critics and audiences alike when it opened in 2017.
But Affleck had praise for the four-hour “Snyder Cut” of the film that was released on HBO Max four years later.
“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,” Affleck said. “The genius, and the silver lining, is that Zack Snyder eventually went to AT&T and was like, ‘Look, I can get you four hours of content.’”
Affleck noted that “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is the highest-rated movie on his IMDb. Still, he has no interest in revisiting the superhero genre. Life’s too short.
“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,” he said of his decision to step away. “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.’”
Affleck has one final send-off as Batman in the upcoming DC film “The Flash,” for which he says he finally figured out how to play the character. That film hits theaters in June.
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