In a little over two weeks, the slow lurch toward the premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will come to an end and the Warner Bros. superhero epic will finally be here in all of its throbbing glory. For most of us, the film's quality won't affect our lives. If it's good, there will be more Warner Bros. superhero flicks on the way. If it's bad, the same result. But there exists one person whose life is deeply connected the movie.
His name is Ben Affleck.
Affleck plays Batman in the film, and in an interview about it with the New York Times, the actor discusses the role, the mythology of DC Comics, and the goings-on in his life. By far the sharpest, most poignant part is when Affleck says that he's so proud of Batman v Superman that the movie makes his turbulent personal life — Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Garner, divorced, and it was revealed later that he was cheating on her with their nanny — seem not that bad:
When our conversation was seemingly at its end, Mr. Affleck and I stood up to say our goodbyes. But then, without prompting, he said he wanted to add a further point about his pride in "Batman v Superman," and how it outweighed "the other stuff, my personal life stuff."
"The whole lesson of my career has been that what’s really important is the work you do," he said. "Even in the tough spots, if your movies are good, people will see them. And if you’re not good, you can’t get away with it.
There's something a little bit strange about a man putting so much stock in a superhero movie. There's something even stranger, and possibly a bit macabre, in the context of Affleck's implication that Batman v Superman has helped him bounce back from and work through the sadness of dissolving a 10-year marriage to a woman he has three children with.
You can't fault Affleck for taking pride in his work. But for his sake, and perhaps for his sanity, let's hope the critical and fan responses to Batman v Superman turn out to be good. If they don't, well, that just seems like an exponential amount of sadness in his life. Plus, he's rumored to be signed on for at least three more Batman movies (in the interview Affleck says this hasn't been confirmed).
You can read the whole interview at the New York Times.