In an interview he gave a few days back to Entertainment Weekly, the question about Ben Affleck playing Batman came up and if Smith had any idea that his long time friend would take the job.
It caught me off guard because I too thought he was on this different path. He fought his way back from wherever he was and is now at the top of the mountain. I never would’ve guessed this move.
But Smith could also see what the actor was thinking:
If you ask an 8-year-old, “Hey, who’s Robert Downey Jr.?” they go “Iron Man!” If you ask an 8-year-old, “Hey, who’s Ben Affleck?” they look at you blankly. Now, at the end of the day, when he plays Batman, he’ll have career vitality. He’ll have bought himself another 10 years as an actor, not just as a director.
Smith went on to say that he knew of Affleck’s love of the character growing up and proof is that the Argo director/actor had a panic room built into his house with an entrance that looked like the entrance to the Batcave. A house that Smith himself now owns.
It’s a bookcase that you click a button and the bookcase slides back. He’s the only guy I know that would go to do something like that. I asked him, “What did that cost to do?” He was like, “50 thousand bucks.” I was like, “Worth every f–king penny, man.” That’s amazing! If you’re going to have Pearl Harbor, Armageddon type money, build a f–king Batcave entrance in your house. So he’s always loved the character.
Smith indicates that another reason Affleck would have taken the role is that the actor now has three kids, including one son… and what father doesn’t want to lean down and tell their kid “I’m Batman”.