Jennifer Garner is now speaking out in defense of her husband, Ben Affleck, being controversially cast as Batman in a still-untitled sequel to "Man of Steel" that will feature Batman and Superman. The movie is scheduled for release on July 17, 2015, and will have many of the same filmmakers (including director Zack Snyder) and stars (including Henry Cavill as Superman and Amy Adams as Lois Lane) who were part of the "Man of Steel" team.
On Sept. 8, 2013, I caught up with Garner for an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where Garner was promoting "Dallas Buyers Club," a drama based on the true story of AIDS-stricken Ron Woodroof (played by Matthew McConaughey), who started a business in the 1980s to sell unapproved medications to people with HIV/AIDS. Woodroof (who died in 1992) battled for years with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to get the medications approved. Garner plays Dr. Eve Saks, who at first clashes with Woodruff but eventually befriends him.
When the casting of Affleck as Batman was announced on Aug. 22, 2013, there were immediate and massive protests from movie fans. Many people even signed an online petition to have Affleck removed from the role. (It's a futile cause, since Affleck is not going to be fired from the movie.) There were some fans who were pleased with the decision to cast Affleck as Batman, but they seemed to be outnumbered on the Internet by those who expressed anger and disappointment about Affleck being Batman.
In the interview, when Garner was asked about the backlash against her husband being cast as Batman, she replied: "Of course, he's a great choice. Believe me, you can't expect anything else [with the backlash]. He's a grown-up. It's this [controversy], then it's something else, then it's the VMAs, then it's something else. That is just what [judgment] you're getting into, but he's going to be fantastic."
I asked Garner how long she had to keep it a secret that her husband had the role of Batman. She smiled and said, "Oh, months! Months and months!"
Affleck has not yet publicly commented on the backlash about him being cast as Batman, but it's only a matter of time before he will comment.
Garner and Affleck have been married since 2005. They co-starred in the 2003 superhero movie "Daredevil," in which Affleck played Daredevil (also known as Matt Murdock), and Garner played Daredevil's superhero ally/love interest Elektra.
Sept. 16, 2013 update: Ben Affleck appeared on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" to promote his movie "Runner Runner" on Sept. 16, 2013. During the interview, Affleck talked about the backlash over him being cast as Batman: "They said, 'Just don’t use the Internet for a couple of days.' I handle sh*t! I'm tough! I saw the announcement, I look down the thing. 'Ben Affleck is going to be Batman.' The first comment? 'No!'"