Ben Affleck on Batman backlash: ‘I’m a big boy… I handle shit’

Online petition to remove him from the role collected 30,000 signatures the day after he was cast

Ben Affleck has spoken bullishly about the criticism he received when it was revealed he would be playing Batman, insisting he was fully prepared for the online backlash.

Warner Bros announced on August 23 that Affleck will be joining Henry Cavill‘s Superman in the sequel to Man Of Steel, which is being conceived as a kind of “Batman v Superman” mash-up movie. The following day, an online petition to remove Affleck from the role racked up over 30,000 signatures.

During an interview on US chat show Late Night With Jimmy Fallon yesterday (September 16), Affleck revealed that Warner Bros had warned him in advance to expect this kind of reaction. He recalled: “The people from the studio were like, ‘We’re thrilled, we’re so excited… and listen, we want to talk to you, because people go through this process and it is a little bit, it can be trying. We want to show you some of the reactions that past cast members have got on the internet.’ So they sent me people who were in these movies that did a great job and people were like, ‘Kiiilll him!’ I was like, you can’t say that before the movie comes out. It doesn’t matter what the people think then, it matters what they think when they see the movie.”

Continuing, the actor recalled reassuring Warner Bros that he could take the criticism. “But I was like, ‘I’m a big boy. I can handle an Emmy snub, I can handle anything’,” Affleck explained. “They said, ‘Just don’t use the internet for a couple of days’. I said, ‘I handle shit, you know what I mean. I’m very tough’. So I saw the announcement, I look at the first comment and it’s like, ‘Ben Affleck is going to be Batman’ and the first person goes, ‘Noooooo!'”

Meanwhile, it’s recently been announced that director Zack Snyder will start shooting the “Batman v Superman” movie in Michigan early next year (2014).

Alongside Cavill as Superman and Affleck as Batman, Amy Adams is confirmed to be returning as Lois Lane and her Man Of Steel castmates Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne have also inked deals to reprise their roles. Warner Bros has given the film a release date of July 17, 2015.