When Justice League was released in 2017, it was the fifth most expensive film in history. It had a budget of $307 million, the highest ever for a film in the DC universe, and grossed more than double that ($658 million). Ben Affleck was paid between $10 and $20 million for his role as Batman, while the actors playing the other superheroes, such as Gal Gadot who plays Wonder Woman, were paid $300,000. But Affleck, 51, did not enjoy making the movie.
“That was the worst experience I’ve ever seen in a business which is full of some shitty experiences,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview to promote his new movie Air about Mike Jordan’s partnership with the sports company Nike, which is set to be released on April 5.
Affleck said Justice League left a “monstrous taste” in his mouth and put him off his plans to direct a Batman move. “[Justice League] made me go, ‘I’m out. I never want to do any of this again. I’m not suited,” he said.
The production was problematic from the start. The initial director, Zack Snyder, had to drop out after the death of his daughter, and was replaced by Joss Whedon, known for his previous success with Marvel’s Avengers films The result was a chaotic film with very different styles of cinematography and script. “You could teach a seminar on all the reasons why this is how not to do it. Ranging from production to bad decisions to horrible personal tragedy,” Affleck told The Hollywood Reporter. “But I went and did it. And now [Zack Snyder’s Justice League] is my highest-rated movie on IMDb.”
The actor, who married singer and actress Jennifer Lopez last year, said that the shoot became so hard he “started to drink too much.” “I was back at the hotel in London, it was either that or jump out the window. And I just thought, ‘This isn’t the life I want. My kids aren’t here. I’m miserable.’ You want to go to work and find something interesting to hang onto, rather than just wearing a rubber suit,” he said.
According to Affleck, it was his ex-wife, fellow actress Jennifer Garner, who begged him to seek treatment for his alcoholism. Now, after five years sober, he says he has become “out of no desire of my own, one of the poster boys for actor alcoholism and recovery.” In the interview, Affleck says that he hopes to spend less time on blockbuster movies shot in far-flung destinations and more with his family in California, as well as things like watching basketball or a jazz show. “These years are too important. If I miss them, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life,” he said.
When asked about the images of him looking miserable at the Grammy Awards – which became fodder for social media – he said that contrary to opinion, he was having a good time. Affleck said that when Grammy host Trevor Noah approached him and Jennifer Lopez, he was only thinking about giving his wife the limelight. “I didn’t know they were rolling. I leaned into her and I was like, ‘As soon they start rolling, I’m going to slide away from you and leave you sitting next to Trevor.’”
Jennifer Lopez, for her part, was quick to defend Affleck on social media. “Always the best time with my love, my husband,” she posted on Instagram after the event.
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