Speaking to Variety yesterday, actor Ben Affleck opened up about the growing DC Extended Universe (which many fans simply refer to as the DCEU) and the pressures of creating a new superhero franchise universe that stands on its own. “I think there is a ton of pressure on it,” said Affleck. “I mean I would be bulls—ting you to say there isn’t.”
The actor, who will don the cowl of Batman in Warner Bros's [Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice](tag:711870) next year, has expressed some of the same sentiments that other franchise leads have before their debut. While Man of Steel officially kicked off the DCEU, Batman and endless others have yet to prove themselves to eager audiences. But, Affleck is hopeful:
You’ll see next year they are going to have a great year. They are now developing … probably the single greatest under-exploited IP asset in the entertainment business, the DC comic world. And now they have started to exploit that and you are going to see that blossom. And, when it does, it’s going to be massive.
What's more, the higher-ups at Warner Bros -- specifically CEO Kevin Tsujihara -- are huge fans of DC Comics' rich history, and are involved in their own ways, which Affleck described the exact extent of Tsujihara's involvement:
I was really impressed by that and by the intelligence of his notes, and the fact that he cared. It was not like some guys, especially at that level, where it would be, ‘We need a franchise movie … we just need a movie with the names ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’ on it and it doesn’t matter what it is.
For him, that wasn’t it. He was willing to take longer to make the movie to get it right to make it a movie of higher quality.
In the still-developing era of superhero franchise hits, gauging what makes something a hit is such a variable that Affleck wasn't sure how to measure --
We are a very kind of instant gratification culture when it comes to analyzing the film business. And there is a lot of hyperbole involved. Nonetheless, there’s a lot of pressure on it. If it doesn’t do well, that will be extremely disappointing ... I leave that to the experts to decide.
'Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice' hits theaters on March 25th, 2016.