We have a further indication Ben Affleck will get to finish what he started in Batman v. Superman and Justice League as the Dark Knight before bowing out unceremoniously.
Taylor Murphy, who previously reported Ben Affleck would return to the role of Batman at The Cultured Nerd, says on Lightcast his sources within Warner Bros. tell him Affleck closed a deal and the Snyderverse’s Batfleck will be back.
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Murphy said this has to do with HBO Max and the return of Zack Snyder. There is a larger push to bring everyone back – Michael Keaton included – to grow the DC Multiverse.
Nobody, not even Robert Pattinson, is replacing Affleck or anybody else, asserts Murphy. “They are bringing everybody back,” he said, adding, “This is planned… This is a design because of Zack. This is a plan that they’re moving forward with. I mean, I keep saying it is a great time to be a DC fan.”
He also adds Affleck has a new contract and an announcement will be made soon:
“Ben has indeed signed a new contract and he is coming back. The official announcement is expected to happen either at DC FanDome or during JusticeCon. One of the two, we’re going to get that announcement but it’s going to happen before September. We’re going to get the official announcement and we are going to get the Snyderverse Batman…returning.”
Like Keaton, Affleck is reportedly signing on for multiple movies and appearances. The priority or the lead-in will be Snyder’s Justice League, any sequels we get, and Affleck’s rumored Batman project for HBO Max.
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Ben Affleck’s departure from DC movies was the result of creative differences and personal problems culminating in a relapse into alcoholism. That’s the official reason.
Geoff Johns is deemed by some insiders to have caused much interference and frustration with Affleck’s script and creative direction when it came to The Batman.
Johns is perhaps the reason he “couldn’t crack” the script, similar to how the Stargirl showrunner interfered with Justice League and hired Joss Whedon.
But Murphy cleared up why Affleck left and why he agreed to work with Snyder in the first place. Murphy began with this analysis:
“I think a lot of people misconstrued why he left in the first place. A lot of people will say, ‘Oh, Ben left because he almost killed himself in the role…’ They take it further than it really was. Essentially, Ben took the role because of Zack. Zack convinced him, he sold him on the pitch, he loved the idea, and he built that loyalty to Zack.”
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“When Zack left, Ben still stayed behind,” Murphy then added. “He said, ‘I can make this work. I’ll do this. I’m still producing this. I’m going to make it happen.'”
Murphy elaborated “it” – either Johns or chasing the dragon too long – began hitting Affleck before long:
“But ‘it’ started happening to him, too. He started losing his control — what he wanted to do with the role, he started losing it, and then he lost his interest in it. Eventually, his own health concerns came up and he realized if he kept going down this path, he wouldn’t get what he wanted, he wouldn’t get to do the role he signed up for, and it was just compromise after compromise.”
With Snyder back, Affleck is more comfortable with signing on again. “He didn’t want to compromise so he backed out but then the magic happened. Zack came back…in full force,” said Murphy. “All the people that caused the issues, to begin with, are gone.”
Continuing with “Zack is back” and “making his movie,” Murphy finally added this:
“They pretty much gave him a blank check to finish Zack Snyder’s Justice League… So giving that level of trust back to Zack Snyder was a huge moment for Ben, and having the idea that Zack is back on control of his project, and the idea that he can then move forward with the project that Zack wanted to make, the Batman movie he wanted to make and have Zack in his corner, that was enough to sell him of the return.”
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Ben Affleck’s script for The Batman may get adapted for a feature or miniseries on HBO Max depending on how well the Snyder Cut performs. It could include the returns of Jared Leto and Joe Manganiello as Joker and Deathstroke.
His project will have nothing to do with Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves’ film in production. Again, they are taking full advantage of the Multiverse.