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Ben Affleck Explains Why Working On Justice League Was ‘The Worst Experience’

Ben Affleck suited up as Batman near Batmobile in Justice League
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

It’s no secret to anyone who follows along with the DC Extended Universe that Justice League was a troubled production. The finalized movie that made into theaters in late 2017 was largely reshot by Joss Whedon and skewed drastically from Zack Snyder’s original vision, not to mention the public later learning of numerous behind-the-scenes clashes. Now Batman actor Ben Affleck has said that his time on Justice League was “the worst experience” for him, although not all of that had to do with the movie itself.

DCEU fans will recall that following Justice League, Ben Affleck was originally supposed to direct and star in The Batman, which would have been his first time playing DC's Dark Knight in a solo movie. However, in early 2017, he relinquished helming duties, and two years later, he officially exited the project. During a conversation with The Los Angeles Times about both his professional and personal lives, Affleck discussed how he realized he wouldn’t be “happy” directing, and then he said the following about why Justice League was such a difficult time for him:

It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me. That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then [director] Zack [Snyder]’s personal tragedy [Snyder’s daughter Autumn died by suicide in 2017] and the reshooting. It just was the worst experience. It was awful. It was everything that I didn’t like about this. 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.

So in addition to being saddened about director Zack Snyder losing his daughter, and subsequently frustrated about how much Justice League was being changed following the filmmaker’s departure, Ben Affleck was also struggling through his own issues, particularly divorcing Jennifer Garner and relapsing into alcoholism. Put all those pieces together, and it’s no wonder he felt miserable working on the fifth DC Extended Universe movie. That said, in January 2021, Affleck said that taking on the Batman role to excite his kids, and even getting to wear the Batsuit to his son’s birthday party, was “worth every moment of suffering on Justice League.”

The theatrical version of Justice League was met with mixed critical reception and underperformed at the box office, resulting in not just a sequel being set aside, but Warner Bros. reevaluating its entire approach to the DCEU. Approximately three and a half years later following, Zack Snyder’s Justice League was finally released, allowing fans to finally see the tale Zack Snyder crafted for Ben Affleck’s Batman and his fellow superheroes. As for The Batman, under Matt Reeves’ guiding hand, it transformed into the Robert Pattinson-led reboot that’s just two months away from release. 

Luckily for Ben Affleck, Justice League won’t be the last time he plays Gotham City’s Caped Crusader. That honor belongs to The Flash, which will also feature Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen meeting Michael Keaton’s Batman. In fact, Affleck has said that his “favorite” scenes of his Batman are in The Flash, and described working on the movie as “really fun and really, really satisfying and encouraging.” Affleck has also confirmed this will be his final time playing the character, so consider the Scarlet Speedster’s solo movie this Batman’s swan song.

The Flash races into theaters on November 4, but those of you looking for a new Ben Affleck movie now can watch him in The Tender Bar on Amazon Prime Video. As always, CinemaBlend will continue to share the biggest updates about upcoming DC Comics movies.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.