Ben Affleck: 'I was ready for Batman criticism'

The actor said he had been forewarned by Warner Bros about the negative backlash he was likely to receive

Ben Affleck has spoken for the first time about the negative reaction he received after it was announced he would play Batman.

The actor, 41, said he avoided the internet for three days after being warned by Warner Bros studio about the backlash he was likely to receive.

Speaking on the Late Night With Jimmy Fallon show, he said: “The people from the studio were like, 'We're thrilled, we're so excited ... [but] listen, we want to talk to you because people go through this process and it's a little bit, you know, it can be trying.

“We want to show you some of the reactions that past people who have been cast have gotten on the Internet.’“

Affleck said he was shown comments including “KILL HIM!” to prepare him from the inevitable reaction.

The Argo star joked he told his children that they were going to be “luddites for a while” after the casting news first broke.

When he did eventually look online, he said the first comment he saw was: “NOOOOOOOOO!”

The actor also spoke about his excitement at being offered the role.

He said: "[The studio] called me up and said, 'Do you want to do this?’ And I thought, 'Well you know, I'm not 25. Are you sure?'“

“Zack, the director, has this incredible take on it. ... I thought, 'This is a brilliant way to do this, and I really know how to hook into this.'”

Affleck, who won multiple awards as the director of Iran hostage crisis film Argo earlier this year, will appear alongside British actor Henry Cavill, star of Superman reboot Man Of Steel, in the as yet unnamed Superman/Batman tie up.

News that Affleck would be playing Batman last month prompted an online petition with more than 50,000 signatures pleading with studio bosses to drop him as the lead.

The change.org petition said Affleck "won't do justice" to the role, and that his acting "is not even close to being believable as Bruce Wayne".

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