Collider had a chance to speak with Ben Affleck as he was still suited up in his Batman costume, something the actor/director is not known to do very much and he was able to shed some more light on Justice League, his Batman film and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He also goes into a bit of detail on working with actors like Ezra Miller and Jason Momoa.
Does he see the Flash as sort of a Robin-esque character?
AFFLECK: That’s interesting, there’s an element of that to it. There’s a quality to really what Ezra [Miller] does that is young and fun and full of life, and excited about what they’re doing that’s so in contrast to who Batman is, there’s a little bit of that natural yin and yang to playing scenes with him. There’s not the ward aspect to it, but there’s a little bit of the mentor. Which you’d probably ask Ezra and he’d be like, “fuck that! He’s not my mentor!” But I think there is a little bit. And it’s fun to play, definitely. And what does Batman do around a guy who’s really excited and positive all the time? [laughs] You know what I mean? That’s not his natural state of being, so that’s really fun. And it’s been really, really cool. Everybody has brought a certain kind of energy to their character that’s really distinct in this thing. All of a sudden, it’s a totally different kind of movie, in ways from the last one because all of a sudden it’s really an ensemble movie. This is a movie about a bunch of different people and qualities and characters all sort of how they work together, what that melting pot is like.
One of the things that is really well done about Batman v Superman are your fight scenes. That scene where you take the bullet in the back of the head and continue going is fuckin’ great. How are you ramping up from that to this? In terms of what Batman can do?
AFFLECK: We have the same guys who choreographed and came up with those. I like to say it was my idea, but I just do what they tell me. And the same, lot of the same from visual effects, from practical effects. A lot of these guys doing really creative cool stuff and they just come up with really great ideas. It’s the same way I would appreciate it were I directing which is to say, find a great stunt coordinator and great effects guys, and stunt guys. You can sort of execute this stuff and put yourself in their hands and let them do it. It’s kind of like getting a great composer. It’s almost a separate thing that layers into the movie. And if it works, it feels like it’s flawlessly integrated. How could Star Wars exist without that music?
We know there’s Steppenwolf, we’ve heard Mother Boxes, we’ve seen concept art for Parademons, is there an element for Batman now, like “I’m getting too old for this shit, like this universe is just, it’s not just one Kryptonian or one monster.”
AFFLECK: It’s not so “I’m getting too old for this shit,” it’s more like, “I need help with this shit.”
AFFLECK: It’s like, guys, we’re getting way out of his league. It’s definitely stepping up to the level you know, in the comic books when you have a lot of things from other planets, other super-villains that are way more powerful than your average human being who’s got a batarang and a grappling hook is equipped to deal with. So we’re able to explore the powers of these other heroes and what they can do. Which is pretty exceptional too. If you want to be able to use the powers of Flash and Wonder Woman and Cyborg, you have to have bad guys who are up to snuff and give them what they can really kind of get their cars out on the track and open up the accelerator a little bit.
Well, Batman is sort of the leader of the group, is there any kind of challenge from the other members to his leadership? I mean, Aquaman’s a king, I can’t imagine him taking orders from another character would go over very well,
AFFLECK: You know, Aquaman’s a very strong character, played by a very strong actor with a very strong personality, so I don’t think he’s the sort of guy who at any point in his life takes orders from people. Jason Momoa, he’s got a very strong, stubborn, independent, powerful energy. So it’s not like any of these characters show up and immediately go like, “yes sir, what should I do, Mr. Wayne?” It’s about like trying to get a lot of disparate people who are used to being very powerful and independent to try to work together. And it’s about how hard it is for them to all get along. And there are some characters who really hit it off with each other, some that don’t hit it off with each other, almost come to blows, and it’s about trying to contain that. So it’s not an easy ride trying to get this group to come together.
Is there any conflict in this one regarding Batman’s tactics? Because one of the conflicts of the last movie was that Batman was, I wouldn’t want to say sadistic, but he was very violent and he killed if he had to.
AFFLECK: Yeah, in the last movie, Batman definitely went to a very dark place that was rooted in trauma that occurred to people that he loved and worked with and what he saw. This movie is not about that issue for him so much anymore, he’s no longer sort of extreme in that way. From the experiences of the last movie, he’s sort of learned and now he’s sort of – I’m trying to say it without giving away any spoilers – but he’s wanting to redeem himself and wanting mankind to be redeemed and he’s wanting to make the world better. Having learned lessons that were important in the last movie.
Can I ask where you are in the scripting process? Do you have a draft that you’re really happy with or a story that you’re really happy with but you just need to flesh it out further?
AFFLECK: I have a script, we’re still working on it, and I’m not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, for which I have the highest of standards, I would say. That’s something that would have to pass a very high bar for me. It’s not just like, “yeah, that might be fun, let’s go try this out.”
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