Ben Affleck is done directing for DC.
Seven years after it was announced in 2016 that Affleck would be writing, directing, and starring in a “Batman” film, Affleck confirmed he has no interest in helming a superhero feature, especially under new DC Studios CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran.
“I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not,” Affleck said in a The Hollywood Reporter cover story. “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.”
Prior to Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” Affleck’s scrapped Caped Crusader script focused on Arkham Asylum and would have shown the the darker side of Batman through his own split psyche.
Affleck went on to blame the bad “Justice League” experience as the reason for him stepping away from directing for DC. “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,’” Affleck said. “That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some shitty experiences. It broke my heart.”
He added, “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.”
As for superhero films as a whole, the “Air” director stated, “I don’t condescend to that or put it down, but I got to a point where I found it creatively not satisfying. 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 previously called “Justice League” the “nadir” of his career, saying in 2022, “That became the moment where I said, ‘I’m not doing this anymore.’ It’s not even about, like, ‘Justice League’ was so bad. Because it could have been anything. I looked at it and thought, ‘I’m not going to be happy doing this. The person who does this should love it.’ You’re supposed to always want these things, and I probably would have loved doing it at 32 or something. But it was the point where I started to realize it’s not worth it. It’s just a wonderful benefit of reorienting and recalibrating your priorities that once it started being more about the experience, I felt more at ease.”