Here We Go Again…

Once again the rumor mill is at work with another quote regarding Ben Affleck’s future as Batman. The story has plagued the DCEU since the Academy Award-winning actor first left the Director’s chair on January 30th. Since then questions regarding his possible departure have haunted Affleck and Warner Bros.’ executives. While at San Diego Comic-Con Ben refuted those rumors, but it seems some more fuel has once again been added to this undying fire.

During a recent radio interview, Ben’s brother Casey briefly discussed the role and The Batman film specifically. When asked about Ben’s possible departure and involvement in The Batman film he states,

He was great. He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not going to do that movie, I don’t think. Sorry to say.

As definite as that quote seems see for yourself in this clip that begins right before the quote.

At first glance it seems like an innocent, natural quote from younger Affleck. He’s quick to share his disbelief and he isn’t smirking or oozing sarcasm while he does it. However, the key is really Casey’s follow-up. From the get-go it’s obvious he doesn’t know much about it. Once asked Casey looks off into the distance, searching for an answer to what is a fairly straightforward question.

Acting Is Lying In Order To Tell A Great Truth

Casey is an excellent actor and filmmaker in his own right, having literally won Best Actor at this year’s Academy Awards. He’s been in the industry for almost 30 years and should be aware of Hollywood and Studio politics. Instead, his answer seems more like an instinctive choice to poke fun at his brother.

At first he almost mocks Ben’s performance. Then he goes on to refer to Ben’s own heroism as it relates to him playing the character. But calling Ben a hero seems more relevant to the role itself than to Ben’s performance. In fact, if he has seen Batman vs. Superman he knows Batman is closer to the film’s villain than its’ savior. He’s undoubtedly aware of the implications of saying his brother is out as Batman. While he doesn’t have a twinkle in his eye, there may be more to the likely improvised answer. The perceived innocence of the statement may not come from him telling the truth, but from how naturally he busts his brother’s chops.

We’ll Know When We Know

At one point, the rumors behind Ben Affleck’s departure as Batman were probably true. After having trouble with The Batman’s production, he was likely tired of DC and loathing the critical backlash their films were receiving. Factor in a lengthy and difficult production with Justice League and we have a frustrated filmmaker who’s ready to give up on a role that’s likely disappointed him more each year. But then things started to look up…

Wonder Woman’s reception and Justice League‘s Whedon-helmed re-shoots seem to be getting the DCEU in order.  Matt Reeves is an extremely talented director Ben would want to work with in any capacity. He even said as much at San Diego Comic Con this past July. With the continuing class of talent DC seems to be bringing in, it’s difficult not to have high hopes about what is yet to come.

If Ben was once skeptical about his return as Batman it was justified by bad films and studio nonsense. But if Affleck truly wanted to leave he’d come out and say it. He’s a critical darling for Warner Bros., it’s unlikely he’d be rebuked for jumping a sinking ship. But there’s a reason he said he’s sticking around for Reeves’ film. If audiences wait patiently in lieu of quickly jumping to conclusions, we may get to see that reason someday.