Batman Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck understands Batman v Superman criticism

Contributed by
Mar 26, 2021, 2:00 AM EDT (Updated)

The Sad Ben Affleck meme was a heartbreaking personification of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's overwrought emotions and self-seriousness. However, in an interview with Empire, Affleck seems to have taken the jokes in stride. He references criticism of the film, even saying some is "fair," but only acknowledges that the dark tone may have been something outside the comfort zone for Batman fans.

This is perhaps an odd claim, considering that the same year saw the release of both the PG-13-rated Batman v Superman and the R-rated Batman: The Killing Joke, the latter of which was at least considered darker by the MPAA and received a still-not-great 45% on Rotten Tomatoes to BvS's 27%. While Affleck went on to note that Justice League will do away with the melodrama for a lighter tone, he also insisted that this was the plan all along, and not just a response to film critics or the wild success of Wonder Woman, which contained actual jokes and fun.

It's exciting that Affleck admits and acknowledges criticism, but it seems the party line is to spin that acknowledgment toward the allegedly pre-planned lightness of the new DC universe movie. Taking criticism under consideration when making a movie seems sinful to some, but this may be pure pride after being memed to death by the internet.

The meme came not only from the dour screenshots of Affleck in full bat regalia, but from a video interview that brought up the film's dismal reviews. In this video, Affleck appears to sink into his own soul, reconsidering all the decisions that have led him to this point.

These wounds may still be fresh, but if Affleck is right in that Justice League will take a different approach than Batman v Superman, so too may its Rotten Tomatoes score.