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Ben Affleck Finally Opens Up About How Awful Justice League Was (But He Loves The Snyder Cut)

The 2017 "Justice League" film is kind of like the "Waterworld" or "Doctor Dolittle" of the superhero movie world; a notoriously troubled production that led to a deeply flawed and infamous final product. The originally released version had its reputation sink further when the project had its unlikely second act as "Zack Snyder's Justice League," better known as the Snyder Cut. While it came with its own baked-in controversy, it seems to be well-liked among diehard fans and (from what we know) most of the film's cast as well. That now includes Ben Affleck (who played Batman in "Justice League"), as the actor has opened up about his negative experience with the movie and its unexpected redemption.

During a recent sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss his upcoming Air Jordan biopic "Air" as well as a variety of other topics, Affleck shared his opinion that mature, grown-up dramas like his 2020 film "The Way Back" are becoming less commercially viable. "OK, these movies aren't f***ing working anymore," the actor said. "And these are the ones I like."

When asked "as opposed to?" by the interviewer, Affleck didn't mince words. "The 'Justice League' experience, the fact that those stories became somewhat repetitive to me and less interesting." But he seems to have found some satisfaction from his performance as Bruce Wayne despite the unfortunate circumstances surrounding "Justice League."

Affleck said Justice League taught him 'how not to do it'

It's not a big surprise that Ben Affleck had a primarily negative experience with "Justice League" and that his initial enthusiasm for playing Batman (including a proposed solo Batman effort that he at one time was going to direct) was hammered down by reality. However, Affleck said, "I did finally figure out how to play that character [Batman], and I nailed it in 'The Flash.' For the five minutes I'm there, it's really great." This statement — which also clues us in as to how much Batfleck to expect in the upcoming "Flash" movie — has a sense of "too little, too late" about it, as he further went into detail about his experience on "Justice League."

"'Justice League' ... 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, and just ending with the most monstrous taste in my mouth," he explained. Judging by some of his later comments about his state of mind during production of "Justice League," that appears to be an understatement.

"I was going to direct a 'Batman,' and ["Justice League"] made me go, 'I'm out. I never want to do any of this again. I'm not suited.' That was the worst experience I've ever seen in a business which is full of some sh***y experiences. It broke my heart," Affleck admitted. "That was hard. And I 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.'"

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

But he also says the Snyder Cut is now his most acclaimed project

While Ben Affleck's experience filming "Justice League" became alienating and eventually turned the actor away from superhero movies seemingly for good, he does have plenty of praise for "Zack Snyder's Justice League," the 2021 version of the film representing Snyder's artistic vision for the characters. " ['Zack Snyder's Justice League'] is my highest-rated movie on IMDb," Affleck said. "Say what you want, it is my highest-rated career movie. I've never had one that went from nadir to pinnacle. Retroactively, it's a hit. All of a sudden I was getting congratulated for the bomb I'm in."

"Zack Snyder's Justice League" might have redeemed Affleck's experience playing Batman to some degree, but he still seems to have closed the door on directing for the James Gunn incarnation of the DC Extended Universe. "I have nothing against James Gunn. Nice guy, sure he's going to do a great job. I just wouldn't want to go in and direct in the way they're doing that. I'm not interested in that," Affleck said.

Unfortunately, the subject of Affleck's other superhero flop, 2003's "Daredevil," wasn't raised in the interview. But maybe some other journalist will get the talkative Affleck to open up about that experience as well during his current press tour.