Ben Affleck on Batman casting backlash: 'I'm very tough'

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By Randee Dawn

Ben Affleck is going to play Batman, and Ben Affleck knows that not everybody is happy with that. As he told Jimmy Fallon on Monday's "Late Night," after he signed on to the role, representatives from Warner Bros. sat down with him and gave him fair warning about the pushback that can come from casting of a beloved superhero.

As Affleck recalled being told by the studio executives, "'Listen, 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.'"

He didn't get into details about what actors were on the receiving end of those armchair comments, but he did note that the reactions were for "people who were in these movies who did a great job, and (the commenters) were like, 'Kill him!' ... You can't say it before the movie comes out. It doesn't matter what you think then, it matters what you think when you see the movie."

The Aug. 22 announcement of Affleck's casting in the Batman role for the "Man of Steel" sequel, a film that isn't set to come out until 2015, generated a wide variety of reactions. There were some nasty ones, as Affleck learned, but also some that seemed hopeful, including a YouTube video of clips from other Affleck roles that created a reasonable argument for the actor's casting.

Initially, Affleck thought he could handle the zings from the peanut gallery. "I'm a big boy," he told Fallon. "They said, 'Just don't use the Internet for a couple of days.' ... I'm very tough. So I saw the announcement, I look down on the first comment ... the first one just goes, 'Noooooooo!'"

So, he and his family now have a solution: No checking the Internet. "We're gonna be Luddites for a while, kids."