Ben Affleck has been the Dark Knight of the DC movie universe since last year’s Batman v Superman, and he’s learned something interesting. “Playing Bruce Wayne is the most fun,” Affleck told EW in an interview earlier this fall. “The director almost plays Batman. The director sets up the dynamic, and the look, the feel, the sound, the fights. All that stuff is pre-rigged. It’s Bruce Wayne where you can be a little more free.”
On the DCEU’s superteam extravaganza Justice League, Affleck reteamed with BvS director Zack Snyder. The main production phase of the film had ended earlier this year – but reshoots loomed. “Zack decided that he wanted to do some additional photography,” explains Justice League producer Chuck Roven. So Snyder reached out to Joss Whedon, late of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently announced as the writer-director of a Batgirl film. “He thought that Joss’ sensibility might be exactly right for what he was looking to do,” explains Roven. “So he showed Joss the film, and he talked about a number of scenes that we would be adding or expanding upon, and Joss wrote those scenes.”
In the wake of a family tragedy, Snyder chose to depart Justice League. Though he is still the film’s credited director, and all involved insist it’s his creative vision, that meant he needed a replacement to steer the film through reshoots. “Zack sought out Joss,” explains Affleck, “And wanted him to be the guy to finish the movie when he wasn’t able to. They definitely worked together to do something kind of special.”
Whedon is now a credited co-writer of the film, and Affleck says that his particular style works in intriguing tandem with Snyder’s. “I think they were very complementary,” says Affleck. “Zack’s so good with the mythic, gothic, heavy serious stuff, and Joss is so good with tone, and comedy, and making superheroes seem kind of real and relatable.”
For the actor, the team-up film offered the chance to explore Bruce’s relationship with other characters, to “play the dynamics, the sexual tension with Wonder Woman, the regular old tension with Flash.” What about Aquaman? “You can’t be around Jason Momoa and not have sexual tension,” Affleck admits.
Justice League arrives in theaters next Friday.