Despite recently hitting pay dirt with Suicide Squad, critical acclaim continues to elude Warner Bros. Pictures’ DC Extended Universe, perhaps most notably Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Despite featuring two of the most iconic and popular comic book characters in history together on the big screen for the first time, the movie was met with a polarizing mixed-to-negative response. Shortly after the movie’s release, a video of Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman) being informed of the early negative reviews for Batman V Superman rapidly went viral, with the actor looking visibly dejected at the news.
Affleck clearly has plenty invested in the DCEU; not only has he taken over the Batman role after the hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy, but he also holds an executive producer position on the forthcoming Justice League movie and is confirmed to be directing the upcoming solo Batman film. Now, after a long period of presumed reflection and contemplation, Affleck has been given another chance to speak his mind on Batman V Superman, without the pressure of having to market the film itself.
In an interview with Fox 5 DC whilst on promotional duties for new project, The Accountant, the actor was asked exactly what he thought of the Batman V Superman: Dawn if Justice. The actor offered the following answer, before simply adding that he “loved” the movie:
“It’s interesting: It was a huge hit movie — more people went to see that than any movie I’ve made in my career. 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.”
Naturally, fans are unlikely to get a completely honest account of the actor’s feelings towards Batman V Superman until after he hangs up the cape and cowl but it’s a positive sign that Affleck isn’t ignoring the calls for a less intense and brooding tone. These comments could fuel hopes that both Justice League and the next Batman venture won’t take themselves quite as seriously.
On the other hand, Affleck’s response does seem to infer that he believes most of the Batman V Superman criticism emanated from the media, rather than the fans. And whilst audiences were certainly kinder to the film than the critics, there were plenty of Batman fans, comic geeks and general movie-goers that felt the film fell considerably short of expectations.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.