Holy here we go again, Batman
Words that will continue to shadow Ben Affleck’s presence in the DC Films’ Cinematic Universe. In an article in USA Today, Ben Affleck reveals that he’s truly considering leaving the role of Batman. The article explores the impact and path of the upcoming Justice League, featuring interviews with the film’s cast members. When it comes to Affleck’s turn, he mentioned quite a bit about the importance of heroes, and the importance of this film. Discussions lead to the topic of Matt Reeves and his upcoming film that may still be titled, The Batman.
Affleck reveals that the film is, “Something I’m contemplating…You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”
Well, there it is. A fairly plain statement about an actor/filmmaker looking to carefully exit what many would regard as the role of a lifetime. Just a couple of days ago another statement of Affleck’s again ignited rumors that he was thinking of leaving the role. However, he made some statements at San Diego Comic Con that felt like a confident affirmation in his appearing as Batman for many years to come. But the chances are slim that audiences will again see Ben Affleck reprise his role as Batman following Justice League.
Don’t Let Them Fool You…
Don’t let Affleck’s most recent statements fool you, the decision has been made. DC and Warner Bros. just haven’t made fans privy to the information yet. Now that Affleck is continuing to shed doubt on the role, it’s most likely because he’s easing fans into the idea. To suddenly leave the role after being so optimistic just months ago would be very jarring, and would likely cause him to lose some clout. It’s not something a successful artist would want staining the rest of his career. Instead, he’s letting the information slowly leak to the press by hinting at it rather than confirming the big reveal.
However, there’s a small chance that this is all a clever ruse or a misinterpretation. There has yet to be a “Batman” film in this new DC film universe. No one would call Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a true Batman film. While he’s at the forefront of Justice League, he hasn’t been mentioned as one of the highlights. Perhaps Affleck is instead referring to finding a way for Matt Reeves’ film(s) to help usher in a new era of Batman by ending his own. However, he’s been filming or preparing for his role as Batman every year for almost half a decade. He was already intentionally cast as an older Batman, to be looking toward his 50’s with a monumental action role is difficult.
Not Getting Any Younger…
Affleck is more aware of this than anyone in the world. After 2013’s Man of Steel polarized fans and audiences, Warner Bros. did so again by casting Affleck as Batman. Since then, he’s appeared in three films. The most recent of which filmed over a year and a half of time. In normal blockbuster productions six months is a long amount of time to film. Affleck’s only directorial feature, Live by Night, in that time was panned by critics and audiences. This role and his presence in the DC Universe may be affecting his art, a sign pointing at his departure.
If Affleck is going to leave the role, it’s already been decided. Somewhere, Matt Reeves and a screenwriter are already hard at work on his version of The Batman. It likely won’t star a “Thomas Wayne”, Flashpoint-imported Jeffrey Dean Morgan. That would be incredibly confusing for audiences, none of which are aware anyone other than Bruce Wayne is ever Batman. There’s too much importance in having Bruce Wayne be an anchor for Justice League, Nightwing, Deathstroke, and countless other potential films.
Warner Bros. have made mistakes in the past, but everyone knows that Wayne Manor cannot be without a Bruce Wayne.