In an interview, Ben Affleck revealed that he will not be a part of the new DCU and also has no desire to direct a film for James Gunn.
The newly formed DC Universe (DCU) needs creative minds even more than new stars for the numerous old and new characters to be cast. James Gunn and Peter Safran share the top spot as CEOs and Co-Chairs, with Safran handling the business while Gunn focuses on the creative process. However, he alone cannot keep the entire ship running and implement all projects. The 56-year-old is currently working on the screenplay for “Superman: Legacy,” which he has just announced that he will also direct.
This means that Gunn won’t be taking on another project anytime soon. On the film side, there are titles like “The Authority,” “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow,” and a brand new Batman film, “The Brave and the Bold.” One person who should be well-versed in the subject is actor and director Ben Affleck. Under Zack Snyder, he embodied the Dark Knight in the Snyderverse, and did a pretty good job. In fact, there are quite a few fans who prefer him as their Batman. But there are also critics. The 50-year-old is not without controversy as an actor, but as a director, he is considered one of the best in Hollywood. “The Town” and “Argo” speak for themselves.
So it’s no wonder that Gunn would like to have him on board as a director, not as Batman. When introducing the first chapter of the DCU in the form of “Gods & Monsters,” the boss of the DC Universe was confident about that (via DC.com):
“We’re collaborating with Ben Affleck, who was previously part of our team and was instrumental in bringing things together. He has expressed a strong desire to direct one of our projects, and we’re delighted to have him on board for that.”
Affleck probably won’t do that after all. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, when asked if he wanted to direct a DCU film, he gave a crystal clear and rather directly brutal answer:
I have no intention of directing a film for the Gunn DCU. Absolutely no way. It’s not because I have anything against James Gunn – he’s a nice guy and I’m sure he’ll do a great job. It’s just that I’m not interested in directing films in the style that they do.
“Under the previous creative leadership, individual visions were implemented, resulting in relatively inconsistent films with no cohesive story or style. However, under the joint leadership of Gunn and Safran, this is expected to change. Unfortunately, Ben Affleck is not someone who simply follows guidelines. Therefore, Gunn cannot count on him to advance the DCU.”
It’s clear that Ben Affleck is no longer interested in portraying an indomitable superhero in a spandex suit. His passion lies in films with lifelike characters, such as the excellent “Out of Play – The Way Back”. When asked about his disillusionment with the superhero genre, Affleck cited the filming chaos and his experience with “Justice League”.
“The Justice League experience, the fact that these stories seem quite repetitive and less interesting to me. Yes, I finally figured out how to play the character [Batman] and I nailed it in ‘The Flash’. The five minutes I’m in is really great. […] But I was supposed to direct a ‘Batman’; and [Justice League] made me say, ‘I’m out. I never want to do anything like this again. I’m not cut out for this.’ That was the worst experience I’ve ever had in an industry that’s full of shitty experiences. It broke my heart.”
Regardless, fans will have the opportunity to see him once again as Batman in “The Flash“, which is set to release in cinemas in Germany on June 15, 2023.