Deadline's Mike Fleming, on assignment for Playboy magazine, conducted an interview with Ben Affleck which appears in the magazine's 60th Anniversary Special Edition. The issue should be dropping on news stands any minute now. Yes, I read Playboy for the great articles and HELL YES I absolutely look at the pictures too so let's get that out of the way. The interview is a fantastic read and Affleck discusses Argo, politics, and of course Batman. Here are some snippets from the interview concerning Batman.
PLAYBOY: When Warner Bros. named you Batman, the internet exploded with hostility. After climbing back from career adversity to win the best picture Oscar for Argo, was your initial reaction more "Not Again" or "Screw You"?
AFFLECK: It wasn't either, really. I expected that reaction. Warner Bros. told me, "You should know what you're getting into." They showed me the reactions to other folks who had been cast in these roles. They said this is how it tends to play out initially.
PLAYBOY: What convinced you?
AFFLECK: When they asked if I would be Batman, I told them I don't see myself in the role and I was going to have to beg off. They said I'd fit well into how they were going to approach the character and asked me to look at what the writer-director, Zack Snyder, was doing. The stuff was incredible.
AFFLECK: It was a unique take on Batman that was still consistent with the mythology. It made me excited. All of a sudden I had a reading of the character. When people see it, it will make more sense than it does now or even than it did to me initially.
And now Fleming asks Affleck the money question...
PLAYBOY: How will your Batman differ from the others, particularly the one played by Christian Bale?
AFFLECK: I don't want to give away too much, but the idea for the new Batman is to redefine him in a way that doesn't compete with the Bale and Chris Nolan Batman but still exists within the Batman canon. It will be an older and wiser version, particularly as he relates to Henry Cavill's Superman character.
In terms of the backlash, Affleck had this to say...
PLAYBOY: How much did the hostile fan reaction bother you?
AFFLECK: I understand I'm at a disadvantage with the internet. If I thought the result would be another Daredevil, I'd be out there picketing myself. [laughs] Why would I make the movie if I didn't think it was going to be good and that I can be good in it?
Speaking of Daredevil, Affleck had this to say about Community Board 4's caped crusader...
PLAYBOY: George Clooney kept a photo of himself as Batman on his office wall as a reminder of what can happen when you take a role for money and fame. If you had such a photo in your office, which movie would you go with?
AFFLECK: I'd probably have two or three. [laughs] It'd be tough to choose. The only movie I actually regret is Daredevil. It just kills me. I love that story, that character, and the fact that it got fucked up the way it did stays with me. Maybe that's part of the motivation to do Batman.
You got to admire the Alleck's honesty.