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Ben Affleck does not have very fond memories of his time shooting Justice League.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Affleck opened up about his experience on the film, and his decision to drop out of starring and directing The Batman.
"I looked at it and thought, 'I’m not going to be happy doing this. The person who does this should love it.' You’re supposed to always want these things, and I probably would have loved doing it at 32 or something. But it was the point where I started to realize it’s not worth it," Affleck said of taking on the film, which he later dropped out from and instead went to rehab for alcoholism. "It’s just a wonderful benefit of reorienting and recalibrating your priorities that once it started being more about the experience, I felt more at ease."
Justice League was really the nail in the coffin for Affleck, who attributed a "confluence of things" to shooting the film being "the worst experience."
"It was really Justice League that was the nadir for me. That was a bad experience because of a confluence of things: my own life, my divorce, being away too much, the competing agendas and then [director] Zack [Snyder]’s personal tragedy and the reshooting. It just was the worst experience. It was awful," Affleck admitted. "It was everything that I didn’t like about this. That became the moment where I said, 'I’m not doing this anymore.' It’s not even about, like, Justice League was so bad. Because it could have been anything."
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Matt Damon interviewed his childhood best friend and got the Argo director to open up about where he stands now when it comes to the film, which wasn't exactly a smash hit at the box office. The Martin Brest-directed film had a $75 million budget but grossed a paltry $7.2 million worldwide.
Affleck said he longed to work with the director behind Midnight Run, Beverly Hills Cop and Scent of a Woman, but admitted the film, in essence, was doomed almost from the start, with subsequent multiple reshoots all but indicating the writing was on the wall.
"It doesn't work," Affleck told EW. "It's sort of a horse's head in a cow's body. And the studio at the time, because I had begun having this relationship with Jennifer Lopez, which was selling a lot of magazines and appeared to generate a lot of enthusiasm, they just predictably latched onto, 'They want a romantic comedy. They want the two of them together. More of that!' And it was just like that SNL sketch: 'Bad Idea.'"
What's more, Affleck said his relationship with Lopez "became a story in and of itself."
"The funny name, the Jennifer Lopez romance and overexposure of that, it was kind of a perfect storm," Affleck added. "And I remember talking to Marty the Friday it came out and I was like it's just spectacular, it's a tsunami, it couldn't be worse. This is as bad as it gets."
In the aftermath, Affleck said, "it engendered a lot of negative feelings in people about me." He also said "it was depressing and really made me question things and feel disappointed and have a lot of self-doubt."
That being said, Affleck said he looks back and realizes being part of Gigli proved to be a blessing in disguise. The film is where he discovered the two loves of his life.
"But if the reaction to Gigli hadn't happened, I probably wouldn't have ultimately decided, 'I don't really have any other avenue but to direct movies,' which has turned out to be the real love of my professional life," Affleck admitted. "So in those ways, it's a gift. And I did get to meet Jennifer, the relationship with whom has been really meaningful to me in my life."
"Jen is so supportive and is always pumping him up and saying how talented he is. [Ben] has been working out as well and feels great," the source said. "He has always been funny, creative, smart and caring, but the difference lately is he is always smiling and happy."
"You can tell he just is so positive and appreciative of how great things are going right now," the source added of the relationship. "It took him ups and downs to get to this place. He loves Jennifer and says she makes him a better person and motivates him to work hard. He wants to take care of her, even though she doesn't need him to. That is just the type of guy he is."