Oscar winning actor and director Ben Affleck was originally attached to write, direct, and star in the new Batman movie called The Batman, but he dropped out. The title role eventually went to Robert Pattinson, while Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves came aboard to write a new script and direct.
Now, Affleck has opened up on why he quit The Batman. After a “troubled shoot” on Justice League, in which Affleck appears as Batman, he decided to step away, according to The New York Times. Affleck told the publication that taking on the role of Batman again for the new film might have led him back to drinking.
“I showed somebody The Batman script,” he said. “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 through again.'”
Affleck, 47, said he “drank relatively normally for a long time” and this led to problems in his relationship with his wife, Jennifer Garner, with whom he separated from in 2018.
“You’re trying to make yourself feel better with eating or drinking or sex or gambling or shopping or whatever,” Affleck said. “But that ends up making your life worse. Then you do more of it to make that discomfort go away. Then the real pain starts. It becomes a vicious cycle you can’t break. That’s at least what happened to me.”
The NYT reports that Affleck’s experience on Justice League “sapped” his interest in returning to play Batman again.
Affleck played Batman a total of three times, beginning with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He played the character again in a cameo for Suicide Squad and then a third time in Justice League.
The Batman is due out in theaters on June 25, 2021. Reeves recently shared the first footage of Pattinson in the new Batsuit–and it looks pretty great.
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