After the failure of Daredevil and the career resurrection as an acclaimed and ultimately Academy Award-winning director, superstar actor Ben Affleck took on the role of Batman over the din of internet disapproval, and went on to be one of the better-reviewed parts of the poorly-reviewed Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Fans were split on the film, with opinions running the gamut from calling it a masterpiece (it's one of the top five highest-rated superhero movies ever by ComicBook.com readers) to absolutely hating it. The Ultimate Cut, an extended, R-rated cut that was released for the home entertainment market, fared better, but by then the perception was already that the film was a messy failure in the eyes of many.
That, of course, begs the question: what does the guy who got probably the most screentime in the whole film, and who came into it fresh off a Best Picture win, think of Batman V Superman?
Entertainment journalist Kevin McCarthy got to ask, and Affleck's answer -- while a little clumsy -- is thoughtful and seems to indicate that he both liked the film and is aware of where its critics are coming from. Check it out below.
"It's interesting: It was a huge hit movie -- more people went to see that than any movie I've made in my career," Affleck told Washington DC's FOX 5. "It was the biggest hit of my career and then it had so much editorial negativity. Fans went, and I got a lot of positive response. It was interesting, that movie, because it was judged not necessarily on execution so much as on its tone. People seemed to want to have a lighter tone to the movie, and I thought that was interesting. Tone is not a qualitative thing. It's subjective, right? Some tones resonate with me that might not with you. And the tone of the movie was really parallel to the Frank Miller book [The Dark Knight Returns], which I liked and thought was great. I'm glad that so many people went and so many people liked the movie."
Put on the spot and asked directly whether he liked it or not, Affleck said, "Yeah. Yeah, I loved it."
That said, it certainly seems as though the "lighter tone" he's talking about is on its way, with Justice League showing a different side of Affleck's Batman, crackling with dry humor that's evocative of what Jeremy Irons did with Alfred Pennyworth in Batman V Superman.
Suicide Squad is now in theaters; Wonder Woman is coming on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.