Ben Affleck Opens Up About His Batman Casting Backlash

While "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Zack Snyder's Justice League" are quite divisive films (and by "divisive" I personally mean "terrible"), Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman was probably one of the better things to come out of them. He may have been a little older and more grizzled than his predecessors, but he was able to crack a joke here and there to remind people how fun the Caped Crusader could be. He also wasn't afraid to get in on the hand to hand combat and didn't rely too heavily on a weapon- and gadget-based offense. That's why fans were looking forward to finally see him break out from the Snyder shackles, star in his own film, and potentially let his version of his character shine on his own more.

Things didn't play out that way as Affleck decided to entirely part ways with "The Batman" due to personal issues. The actor and his fans are still excited for his final appearance in the iconic cape and cowl in Andy Muschietti's "The Flash," which stars Ezra Miller as the Barry Allen version of the Scarlet Speedster. However, that excitement wasn't always there.

When the casting announcement was first made, many vocal fans expressed their distaste for Batfleck without knowing much about his take or seeing any footage. Now, the actor is opening up about how the initial reaction to his casting made him feel.

Dark, Sad, Lonely Knight

During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Affleck shared that he was disappointed by the negative outcry following the announcement that he would be the new Batman. He was especially baffled by the petitions that called for him to be removed from the role.

"I was hurt. I was less hurt than I would've been 10 years earlier. But I was hurt because I felt like 'Wait a minute, come on. What do I got to do to' you know what I mean? Like, I'm just you know, like, 'Jesus Christ' ... I thought it was an interesting idea but you know what? I also realized at that point ... it's gonna be, 'Now this turns into a petition.' Now they got this thing, everybody's going to do a petition. You're really -– a hundred thousand [signatures], you signed a f***ing petition like, you have anything better to do with your day than sign petitions? But, ironically, the reason I did this is I wanted to do a movie for my kids, particularly my son, that they would see and be proud of."

Interestingly enough, petitions also popped up to keep him in the role when it was announced that Robert Pattinson would be taking over. Stern also backs up Affleck by reminding him of the negative reaction to Michael Keaton when he was first announced as Batman. Now, Keaton is one of the most beloved performers to ever don the batsuit and fans are excited to see him alongside Affleck and Miller in the Fastest Man Alive's upcoming multiversal feature film, followed by HBO Max's "Batgirl," starring Leslie Grace.

Basically, all of this is a nice reminder that you shouldn't react until there's actually something to react to. You know, like a teaser or a trailer or the actual movie that you've seen with your own eyes so you can make an informed opinion. Once that stuff is out there, sure, critique away. Or maybe react to news like this with cautious optimism? Either way, maybe let's stop responding to casting announcements with such venomous vitriol when it's not necessary.