When word broke that Ben Affleck was going to step into the boots and cowl of Batman for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, many reacted with horror. It’s to be expected when you’re dealing with a character like Batman, and the fan pressure is surprisingly only one small part of the role. In fact, Affleck talks a bit about the pressure behind the film in a new chat with Variety for a cover feature on Warner CEO Kevin Tsujihara. In it, he talks about what “pressure” means when talking about Batman and the DC Comics universe, talking about the massive undertaking for Warner that started with Man of Steel:
“I think there is a ton of pressure on it,” Affleck said of the film, in which he plays Batman. “I mean I would be bulls—ting you to say there isn’t…
“You’ll see next year they are going to have a great year,” Affleck said. “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.”
At the tail end of the chat, Affleck adds a little bit of a knock at the current mood of the film business, and what I assume is the Internet influence on popular culture in general:
“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,” Affleck said. “Nonetheless, there’s a lot of pressure on it. If it doesn’t do well, that will be extremely disappointing.”
Just considering what is in store for the DC Comics films in general, failure would be catastrophic. I picture it like Fantastic Four‘s failure on some massive scale, if it were to happen. It won’t, of course, at least not with next year’s releases. If anything, Batman and Superman are ready-made for some sort of success. It’s the other characters that will tell the real tale for DC Comics as a whole on the big screen.