During a recent profile for The New York Times, a remarkably candid Ben Affleck revealed that his struggles with alcohol abuse played a significant role in his decision to not direct The Batman and eventually walk away from the character altogether. Affleck was originally tasked with both writing and directing the standalone film, and he didn’t mince words about what would have happened if he continued the project in the midst of his divorce from Jennifer Garner.
“I showed somebody The Batman script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went though again,” Affleck told the Times.
However, Affleck has nothing but praise for Robert Pattinson who stepped into the role for director Matt Reeves’ new take on the Caped Crusader. While promoting The Way Back in an interview with Jake Hamilton, Affleck said “I think Robert’s a great actor, he’s going to do great.”
But Affleck didn’t stop there. In another surprisingly candid moment, he admitted that his “passion” for Batman faded after starring in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League in a very short amount of time.
“We had a script. I liked the script, I wrote it with Geoff Johns, who I have a lot of respect for,” Affleck said. “It just so happened that I had done a couple of those movies, and I kind of lost my passion for it. You know what I mean? I kind of lost my passion for telling those stories, I got interested in telling stories more like [The Way Back], and it just seemed like very clear to me that if it’s not the most important thing in the world to you, you’re not going to make a very good movie. The movie deserves to be made by someone whose dying to do it and can’t wait, and that wasn’t me at the time, so I moved on.”
Judging by photos from The Batman set in Glasgow, Pattinson and Reeves have a distinct vision for the character that aims to be a fresh approach to the Dark Knight, so kudos to Affleck for knowing when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.