Matt Damon Thinks Ben Affleck Will Make A Great 'Batman,' Doesn't Acknowledge Bourne Rumors But Praises Jeremy Renner

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by Charlie Schmidlin
August 28, 2013 9:25 AM
16 Comments
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While the box office and critical reception of Neill Blomkamp's “Elysium” wasn't stellar overall, you would think Matt Damon was doing some kind of course correction, so safe were his speculated choice of projects next. First, Ben Affleck's surprise casting news as Batman naturally resulted in calls for Damon as Robin, and then that idea moved alongside the possibility of Paul Greengrass and his “Bourne” franchise star reuniting for another sequel; Universal has so far denied the latter claim, and while Damon laughed recently at the notion of him as Robin, he did have some word of encouragement for his friend and former co-star.

While in India to check on the efforts of his co-founded organization Water.org, Damon also spoke to The Times Of India about the massive responsibility that Affleck will now hold in “Batman Vs. Superman,” and the enraged initial reaction on the internet. “I think [the film] will be great," he said. “I know there are a lot of people grousing on the internet. I just think it's kind of funny. You know, he's not playing King Lear. It's Batman! Certainly within his skill set.”

Damon pointed to “Argo” and “The Town” as Affleck-involved examples that were “way more nuanced and interesting” than Batman, and described the Caped Crusader as one who “sits there with his cowl over his head and whispers in a kinda gruff voice at people. Bruce Wayne is the more challenging part of the role, and Ben will be great at that... But it's safe to say I won't be Robin." 

One role that he didn't directly deny during the interview was Jason Bourne, a role in a franchise that he previously thought would be "a real struggle to extend." But now with talk of attempting another sequel after 2012's “The Bourne Legacy” with Jeremy Renner, Damon attempted to keep things amiable by saying he “didn't mind at all” that they were trying to revitalize the franchise. 

He added, "It didn't have anything to do with the movie that I made. It makes sense for a studio to keep those franchises as alive as they can, it makes business sense for them. I don't begrudge anybody for that. I am a huge fan of Jeremy. I don't equate my Bourne movie with his. He didn't play the part of Jason Bourne. It's a totally different thing."

It seems it will take a brief spell before Damon announces the next thing for him, but meanwhile you can definitely look forward to his other pal George Clooney's directorial effort “Monuments Men,” which opens December 18th. [Coming Soon]

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More: Matt Damon, Bourne 5, Batman vs. Superman

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16 Comments

  • Sensitive stranger | August 28, 2013 3:27 PMReply

    I have a hilarious mental image of 80% of Batman fans looking feverishly through their comic stash to find out who this "King Lear" is. Ha, ha.

    Matt Damon: bringing the awesome since 1998.

  • Maximilian Khan | August 28, 2013 1:23 PMReply

    It is amazing to see how worked up so many people got over Matt Damon's comments. Ben Affleck has the look and the talent to take on a troubled Bruce Wayne. That is the ONLY point Matt was trying to make. A lot of people think Michael Keaton's Batman portrayal was the best one and a lot of people think Christian Bale's portrayal was the best...it's all really just a matter of opinion. The ONLY thing Ben Affleck has to do is to not come off like a clown or a jerk. That is it! Everything else will fall into place as long as Ben takes his role seriously and as long as Zack Snyder and the script/screenwriters write a better emotionally-charged story than they did with Man of Steel. Oops! It's a Batman/Superman crossover...I almost forgot. The movie is going to suck anyway!

  • Alan B | August 29, 2013 4:21 AM

    "The ONLY thing Ben Affleck has to do is to not come off like a clown or a jerk. That is it!"

    Well then the film is fucked ... on both counts.

  • Juliette | August 28, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    I am only mildly interested in the batman debate, but I do think it is harsh suggesting Affleck is getting his friends to speak up for him. Practically every actor being interviewed at the moment is being asked what they think of the casting, regardless of who they are or what the interview is for. It is like the "What do you think of the Kardashians?" question, designed to slip someone up and provide a headline.

  • Francis | August 28, 2013 12:51 PMReply

    Come on, guys. The new Bruce Wayne/Batman will be fucked up by half-assed writing and superficial directing, just like Superman. We should worry about Goyer/Snyder returning, less about Affleck who would work just fine, given the right material.

  • Patrick Bayard | August 28, 2013 12:37 PMReply

    What else was Damon going to say? This concerted effort to get his friends to come out and support him in the role is not going to fool anybody. This is such a bad decision on the part of Warner Brothers that it seems crazy for them to continue forward with this.

  • Matchesmalone | August 28, 2013 12:01 PMReply

    So ... his argument is basically that Batman is a simple, easy character to play that requires little skill.

    There were two ways to approach that question: 1) By recognizing the relevance of the character but saying that Ben is extremely talented and capable of handling it. 2) Basically insult the character as being an easy, pedestrian role that any moron could tackle.

    It's interesting that he chose the second option. I can't imagine Ben could take that as a compliment.

    Thanks Matt, we all feel better now. I just pray Ben doesn't share the same view of Batman that you and Clooney obviously have.

  • RC | August 28, 2013 2:55 PM

    My thoughts exactly.

  • caro | August 28, 2013 12:00 PMReply

    In my opinion,Affleck was the weak part in Argo,The Town ,State Of Play and To The Wonder( he has no idea on what he's doing in this movie and you can see it on screen)

  • CB | August 28, 2013 10:45 AMReply

    Damon doesn't know what he's talking about. He's saying what he's saying only because he's friends with Ben Affleck. What Christian Bale did with the role is the definitive, most psychologically layered interpretation of Batman there will ever be. Michael Keaton? While not bad, Keaton was far from able to capture the God's loneliest man existential angst of Bruce Wayne/Batman the demonic alter ego.

  • Patrick Bayard | August 28, 2013 12:39 PM

    Very well put!

  • Dan S | August 28, 2013 10:11 AMReply

    "You know, he's not playing King Lear. It's Batman! Certainly within his skill set.”

    Hey, Matt, George Clooney is a better actor than Ben Affleck and he completely screwed up his performance of Batman. It takes a pretty good actor to put on that cowl and not come off like a slice of cheddar.

  • Vinny W | August 28, 2013 2:59 PM

    What Clooney's Batman demonstrated is that no actor can overcome bad direction and an appalling script.

  • james | August 28, 2013 9:53 AMReply

    Not as much a comment as a suggestion a thought even......Matt Damon would be a perfect Atticus Finch in a remake of "To Kill a Mockingbird".....It is time for a remake of that great film...

  • Vinny W | August 28, 2013 3:03 PM

    Matt Damon would make a fantastic Atticus. He would also be a tremendous son for Luke Skywalker. Really the only choice.

  • Pete | August 28, 2013 12:02 PM

    Your comment truly, truly, boggles the mind and defies all logic.

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