If anyone’s an authority on bringing comic book superheroes to life, it’s Hugh Jackman. With six appearances as Wolverine — Marvel’s most ferocious mutant — Jackman was partially responsible for bringing about the modern comic book film Renaissance with 2000’s “X-Men.” And after more than a decade in the comic book biz, the actor knows a hero when he sees one. So we had to ask him to weigh in on fellow actor Ben Affleck, who’s about to answer the call of the bat signal.
“He’s a tough guy,” Jackman told MTV News’ Josh Horowitz while promoting his new film “Prisoners” at the Toronto International Film Festival. “He’s a Boston kid, right? He’s a tough guy.”
Affleck became the center of a comic book controversy when he was made the heir to Batman’s cape and cowl in 2015’s Superman/Batman team-up movie. Seemingly everyone from celebrities to die-hard Batman fans made their opinions known via Twitter, with many of them being less than kind. But Jackman said there’s no need to worry.
“I think Ben is a great actor,” Jackman explained. “I think he’s been underrated for a long time. He’s obviously a great director. He’s a very smart guy. That guy doesn’t make decisions that aren’t well thought out, that aren’t great.”
To the haters, Jackman hinted that their criticisms won’t so much deter Affleck from doing his best work — they’re just adding more fuel to the fire. “I think probably, deep down, he doesn’t mind taking on something that’s a little controversial.”
Affleck has his work cut out for him, as there are a few key components to a successful Bat performance, especially if he wants to differentiate himself from previous Batmen like Christian Bale, George Clooney and Michael Keaton. Still, the positive vibes kept coming from Marvel’s leading mutant to DC Comics’ Dark Knight.
“I know [Affleck] a little bit and I know he’s going to relish the opportunity to go and crush it,” he gushed. “I have no doubt he’s going to crush it.”
Jackman’s adamantium-clawed hero is still proving his mettle, starring in this year’s worldwide hit “The Wolverine” before he brings his character full-circle in 2014’s “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
The still-untitled Superman and Batman film, directed by “Man of Steel” helmer Zack Snyder, hits theaters on July 17, 2015.