Affleck was previously set to direct and star in the DC film before it landed with filmmaker Matt Reeves and the new Caped Crusader, Robert Pattinson. In the profile, Affleck opened up about his struggle with alcoholism, his uneasy experience working on “Justice League” and the decisions that led him to his forthcoming role in “The Way Back.”
More from Variety
- 'Onward' Tops Studios' TV Ad Spending
- Robert Pattinson's 'Batman' Suit Revealed by Director Matt Reeves
- Disney-Pixar's 'Onward' Tracking for $45 Million Opening Weekend
His tumultuous time spent working on “Justice League” (which only raked in $658 million, a box-office disappointment given its massive budget) was only one of the reasons he opted out of the next film in the Batman franchise, Affleck said.
“I showed somebody ‘The Batman’ script,” he said. “They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went though again.’”
Affleck first starred as The Dark Knight in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016). That same year, he also performed an uncredited turn as Batman in “Suicide Squad.” Though he’d already co-written the script for the film, Reeves, who took over directorial duties for “The Batman” in February 2017, opted to write his own version instead.
Reeves recently released the first photos of Pattinson as Batman in the upcoming film, which is scheduled for a June 25, 2021, premiere.
Affleck also got candid about his long battle with alcoholism. He spoke about his three stints in rehab and other A-listers such as Bradley Cooper and Robert Downey Jr. who’ve assisted him on his journey to sobriety.
“One of the things about recovery that I think people sometimes overlook is the fact that it inculcates certain values. Be honest. Be accountable. Help other people. Apologize when you’re wrong.”
Both situations eventually had a hand in his decision to star in his next film, “The Way Back.” Originally titled “The Has Been,” the film follows a widowed ex-basketball all-star (Affleck) who struggles with addiction and attempts a comeback by becoming the coach of a high school basketball team at his alma mater. Gavin O’Connor directed the film and penned the script alongside Brad Ingelsby.
“I’ve never been very risk-averse — for better or worse, obviously,” he said. “Regarding ‘The Way Back,’ the benefits, to me, far outweighed the risks. I found it very therapeutic.”
“The Way Back” will debut in theaters on March 6.
Best of Variety
- Oscars 2020: The Complete Winners List
- Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win in the Major Categories?
- Oscars 2020: How to Stream and Watch Online