Ben Affleck Got Billed for Swiping ‘Justice League’ Batarang

Our favorite movies wouldn’t be complete without iconic casts, sets, and props. After all, Harry Potter without his wand would be like a movie theater without overpriced popcorn. And it’s not just audiences that props enthrall.

For some actors, the on-set items they work alongside for months become so treasured that they can’t say goodbye when shooting wraps. Batman went from hero to villain when Ben Affleck took an item from the Justice League set. 

Ben Affleck is an award-winning actor and writer

Ben Affleck attends the 'Justice League' photocall at The College on November 4, 2017, in London, England
Ben Affleck attends the ‘Justice League’ photocall at The College on November 4, 2017, in London, England | Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images

Much like the comic book heroes he would come to portray, Ben Affleck had quite the origin story. The Massachusetts-born actor became interested in show business at a young age, inspired by his playwright father. He appeared in his first film at just 7 years old, only a couple of years before he met a young Matt Damon in third grade. 

Though Affleck originally studied Spanish at the University of Vermont, it wasn’t long before he dropped out and moved to Los Angeles. He and Damon began working on a script that would become the Academy Award-winning hit Good Will HuntingThe film, which also won a Golden Globe in 1998, helped put the two actors on the map. 

From Gone Girl to Armageddon, Ben Affleck has starred in dozens of blockbuster hits. But it wasn’t until 2016 when he achieved superhero status. He made his Batman debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and made an uncredited appearance in Suicide Squad the same year. In 2017, he reprised the role in Justice League. 

Justice League brought Batman back to the big screen

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A follow-up to Batman v Superman, Justice League follows the super-powered team of the same name. The movie sees Batman and Wonder Woman join forces to defeat Steppenwolf and his Parademon army. As the challenges mount, they get help from other fan favorites such as The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. 

Despite a star-studded cast, the movie was a box office flop. Rotten Tomatoes gave it only a 40 percent, citing “murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action.” Business Insider theorized the film’s bottom line suffered thanks to its release alongside Thor: Ragnarok and surprise hit Wonder

Of course, a superhero “flop” often earns a stunning amount of money, and Justice League was no different. The movie grossed $657.9 million worldwide, but producers had likely expected a bigger profit after investing $300 million to make the film. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t let leading man Ben Affleck get away with swiping an expensive prop from the set. 

Affleck snuck a souvenir from the set

Many actors have portrayed Batman over the years, and each has brought his own unique flair to the role. And Ben Affleck apparently thought Batman had spent too much time stopping crime and decided to commit his own misdeed.

His iconic character has long been associated with the “batarang,” a fictional sharp-edged throwing weapon shaped like a bat. In an interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the actor couldn’t resist taking the prop home with him when it “fell off the truck.” Although Affleck owned up to nabbing, then he insisted he didn’t steal it. That’s because he ended up paying for it after the studio billed him. He quipped, “Turns out batarangs aren’t cheap!”

Ben Affleck is now stepping away from Batman, ceding it to Robert Pattinson. Given Justice League‘s mixed reception, it can’t really be said he went out with a bang. But at least he got a batarang.