Although Warner Bros. tried to prepare Ben Affleck for negative reaction to last month's announcement that he'll play Batman in the sequel to "Man of Steel," the actor still wasn't fully prepared for the online backlash. But at least he managed to keep his sense of humor about it.
"The people from the studio were like, 'We're thrilled, we're excited [...] but listen,'" Affleck recalled last night on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." "'We want to talk to you, because people go through this process, and it can be trying.' I said, 'What do you mean?' 'We want to show you some of the reactions that past people who have been cast have gotten, like on the Internet and stuff.'"
While not naming names, the actor continued, "They send me [reactions to] people who were in these movies who did a great job and they'd say, 'Kill himmmm!' You can't say that before a movie comes out. It doesn't matter what you think then, it matters what you think when you see the movie."
Certain he could handle negative comments, Affleck shrugged off the studio's warning. "I was like, I'm a big boy," he jokingly told Fallon. "They said, 'Just don't go on the Internet for a couple of days,' and I said, 'I handle shit.' I'm very tough. I saw the announcement, I look on this thing, I look down on the first comment -- 'Ben Affleck's Going To Be Batman,' the first one just goes, 'Nooooooooooooooo!'"
"We're gonna be Luddites for a while, kids," he added.
More than 30 petitions calling for Affleck's removal from the film appeared online within hours of the Aug. 22 casting announcement, and the selection of the actor has been the target of countless jokes and parodies. Still, Affleck seems genuinely enthusiastic about the role.
"They called me up and said, 'Do you wanna do this?'" he told Fallon. "And I thought, 'Well, I'm not 25, man. Are you sure about this?' And they said, 'Come down, we want to show you what we're doing,' and it was incredible. [...] Zack Snyder's directing it. He has this incredible take on it that's like -- obviously you can't do what Chris [Nolan] and Christian [Bale] did, those movies are amazing. And so he wants to do something different but still in keeping with that. [...] I thought, this is a brilliant way to do this, and I really know how to hook into this."
Opening July 17, 2015, the "Man of Steel" sequel also stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.