Ben Affleck has discussed the problems with Justice League and has simultaneously ruled out returning to DC to direct a film under James Gunn and Peter Safran's leadership.
It was reported in December that Gunn had met up with Affleck to discuss the possibility of him directing a DC movie. However, Affleck has now made clear that, while he holds no hostility towards Gunn, he is simply "not interested" in directing a project for the revamped DCU.
"I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not," Affleck told The Hollywood Reporter. "I have nothing against James Gunn. Nice guy, sure he's going to do a great job. I just wouldn't want to go in and direct in the way they're doing that. I'm not interested in that."
The reason behind his decision to step away from directing in the DCU seems to be, at least in part, due to the experience he had on Justice League. He explained some of the issues they faced with the production and how he felt coming away from it.
"You could teach a seminar on all the reasons why this is how not to do it," Affleck said of the experience. "Ranging from production to bad decisions to horrible personal tragedy, and just ending with the most monstrous taste in my mouth.
"The genius, and the silver lining, is that Zack Snyder eventually went to AT&T and was like, 'Look, I can get you four hours of content,'" he recalled. "And it's principally just all the slow motion that he shot in black and white. And one day of shooting with me and him. He was like, 'Do you want to come shoot in my backyard?' I was like, 'I think there are unions, Zack. I think we have to make a deal.' But I went and did it."
Affleck confirmed that Zack Snyder's Justice League is his highest-rated movie on IMDb but the entire experience took a toll on him personally and he found that he lost interest creatively, so he has ultimately decided to take a step back from the superhero genre.
"All of a sudden I was getting congratulated for the bomb I'm in," he said. "But I was going to direct a Batman, and [Justice League] made me go, 'I'm out. I never want to do any of this again. I'm not suited.' That was the worst experience I've ever seen in a business which is full of some sh***y experiences."
He added: "You want to go to work and find something interesting to hang onto, rather than just wearing a rubber suit, and most of it you're just standing against the computer screen going, 'If this nuclear waste gets loose, we'll…' That's fine. I don't condescend to that or put it down, but I got to a point where I found it creatively not satisfying. Also just, you're sweaty and exhausted. And I thought, 'I don't want to participate in this in any way. And I don't want to squander any more of my life, of which I have a limited amount.'"
With or without Affleck, the new era of the DCU is moving forward. Gunn and Safran have already laid out the roadmap for Chapter One: Gods and Monsters – which is effectively the first part of their master plan.
Other movies to follow Superman: Legacy include The Authority, The Brave and the Bold, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, and Swamp Thing.
Adele Ankers-Range is a freelance entertainment writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.