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When it was announced that Argo star Ben Affleck would play Batman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel Batman vs. Superman, the internet became a place of panic, overreaction and outrage. Along with you, we had all the feelings. We debated if he was right for the part. We ranted he was miscast, and we remembered that superhero casting goes hand in hand with fandom freakouts. But what was this crazy time like for Affleck? After some strategic radio silence, he’s risen from the Batfleck cave to make an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to share the early highs and lows of being Batman, as you can see in the video above (start around the 1:46 mark).
“It’s so awesome, man. I’m so excited,” Affleck told Fallon as the pair tackled the topic of his newly acquired role as the studio audience cheered. “Zack Snyder’s directing it and he has this incredible take on it. Obviously you can’t do what Chris (Nolan) and Christian (Bale) did, those movies are amazing. So he wants to do something different but still in keeping with that. So I thought, ‘This is a brilliant way to do this, and I really know how to hook into this.’ And I said, ‘Okay I want to do it.’ And people from the studio said, ‘We’re thrilled, we’re so excited, da da da da.’ Then they said, ‘Listen. We want to talk to you because people go through this process and it’s a little bit you know, it can be trying.’”
From there the studio shared with Affleck some of the past reactions of superhero casting to prepare him for the inevitable onslaught that becoming Batman would bring his way. Still, Affleck thought he could handle it. “I’m a big boy. I could handle the Emmy snub, I can handle anything,” he joked. Still, the studio warned, stay off the internet for a couple of days.
Undeterred Affleck exclaims, “I handle shit!”, and promptly looked at the comments section of one website’s announcement. “The first comments just goes, ‘Noooooooooooooooooo!’” he tells Fallon, adding he stopped looking any deeper into the rabbit hole of comments because he apparently has superhuman self-restraint. “We’re going to be luddites for a while kids,” he laughs while miming hurling a computer away.
Considering some of the reactions we’ve seen regarding this casting call, turning away from the web at that point was definitely a wise move. But Affleck seems to be in a good place with all this mania. He comments on how you can’t really determine a person’s performance in a movie before its even been shot, and that some of the actors who fans initially revolted against ultimately turned in brilliant performances. (Consider Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight or even Michael Keaton in Batman!) So, despite this very rocky start, Affleck doesn’t seem to shaken, and while he can’t tell us why he thinks he’s so right for this part, he’s clearly confident he can pull it off. The rest of us will just have to wait and see.