Ben Affleck has said that Matt Damon was the “principal influence” on his decision to quit the DCEU as Batman. Between 2016 and 2021, Ben Affleck starred in the DC movies in one of Hollywood’s most coveted roles: Batman.
Starting off with the notorious Batman movie Batman V Superman, the actor stepped into the shoes of Bruce Wayne and became Gotham’s, Dark Knight. He reprised his role in a cameo in Suicide Squad and had a leading part in both versions of Justice League as the leader of the superhero group. The actor is also thought to have a cameo in The Flash, but that may or may not go ahead, given the recent shake-up to the DCEU.
Either way, Affleck (who was generally underrated as Bruce Wayne in the DCEU) has filmed his last scene as the superhero movie character because he has definitively exited the DCEU. As it turns out, his close friend and colleague Matt Damon played a huge part in his decision to leave Wayne Manor, and DC, behind.
In a conversation with EW in 2022, the actor was interviewed by Damon while they spoke about their careers and their new movies. Affleck opened up about why he decided to quit as as Batman, explaining that Damon had a “principal influence” on his change of heart.
Talking honestly about his decision, he said, “I had a really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons. Not blaming anybody, there’s a lot of things that happened. But really what it was is that I wasn’t happy. I didn’t like being there. I didn’t think it was interesting. And then some really shitty things, awful things happened. But, that’s when I was like, I’m not going to do that anymore.”
He continued, elaborating further, “In fact, I talked to you [Matt Damon] about it, and you were a principal influence on that decision. I want to do the things that would bring me joy. Then we went and did The Last Duel, and I had fun every day on this movie. I wasn’t the star, I wasn’t likeable. I was a villain. I wasn’t all the things I thought I was supposed to be when I started out, and yet it was a wonderful experience. And it was all just stuff that came along that I wasn’t chasing.”
Affleck’s comments are very candid, especially his reflection that he neither enjoyed being on set or found his work as Batman interesting. Alongside that lack of satisfaction, as Affleck hints at, there were a number of personal struggles that the actor was dealing with at the time, so having the guidance of his long-term friend Damon, and doing The Last Duel (one of Ridley Scott’s best movies) with him, was clearly a helpful moment of clarity.