It’s been over a year since Ben Affleck publicly announced that he was stepping away from Matt Reeves’ gritty standalone superhero movie The Batman, paving the way for Robert Pattinson to assume the role. But now we have learned the real reason why Affleck decided to exit the project. In a new interview with The New York Times, Affleck revealed that he didn’t want to put himself at risk of alcoholism again. Said Affleck: “I showed somebody the Batman script. They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.’”

Affleck was originally supposed to direct and star in The Batman, continuing the small string of movies where he played the character. He appeared as Batman in Justice League in 2017, following his debut in the DC Extended Universe in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But even before Justice League’s underwhelming performance at the box office, Reeves had already stepped in as director for The Batman with an updated script. It wasn’t until January of 2019 that Affleck left the movie entirely.

Affleck’s next movie is sports drama The Way Back, which follows a downtrodden man’s recovery from alcoholism as he coaches his alma mater’s high school basketball team. “I’ve never been very risk-averse — for better or worse, obviously,” said Affleck. “Regarding The Way Back, the benefits, to me, far outweighed the risks. I found it very therapeutic.”

The Way Back hits theaters March 6, 2020.

Gallery — A Visual History of Batman in Movies:

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