After Batman v Superman, it seemed to be destiny for Bruce Wayne to become the leader of a burgeoning super-team in Justice League. As by the inherent design of the previous film, the man who tried to kill Superman must now fill the void left by the Last Son of Krypton by rounding up a new team of do-gooders to face an intergalactic threat. It’s the central conceit that director Zack Snyder always intended for Justice League, and it is one of the hooks that brought star Ben Affleck onboard to play the role of the Caped Crusader.
As a character who has starred in more films than any other superhero, and been played by more actors, there was plenty of obvious baggage in portraying Batman again. But there is also the opportunity to do some things differently, even from movie to movie. That character evolution was on Affleck’s mind during a Justice League press event in London this past weekend. As the first to address the elephant in the room regarding the change in directors between Snyder and Joss Whedon during post-production and reshoots, Affleck also noted how the film gave him the opportunity to reinvent Batman and portray a more traditional version of the character. One that is also more recognizable to comic book fans than the broken and angry man in last year’s fight night film.
“Batman is by nature, [while] not necessarily anti-social, pretty private, pretty a loner,” Affleck says. “And then in this movie he’s thrust into the role of having to not only work with people, but bring them together and convince them to come in and try to… somehow with Wonder Woman hold all that community effort together. That was a really interesting thing to play for me, and it also does take us to a more traditional role for Batman in the Justice League comics, and his role with the Justice League versus the sort of less typical version we saw in Batman v Superman, where he was blinded by rage and wanted to take on Superman.”
Affleck also seemed to enjoy that this slight alteration to his performance allowed him to introduce some humor to the Dark Knight and a bit of the character’s dry musings.
“So it was a lot of fun for me, you know. I also got to have a dry wit and I got to play off Ezra [Miller], which was a lot of fun because he’s so funny, and Bruce is always on the verge of exasperation. It was fun to get to show some other colors for sure.”
Fans will be able to see all those colors themselves when Justice League opens on Nov. 17.