As the DC Extended Universe continues to dissolve into disarray, Ben Affleck confirmed that he would no longer be donning the cowl of the caped crusader.
The news came Wednesday afternoon when Deadline broke the story about Warner Bros.’ upcoming The Batman spinoff, which is going to be written and directed by War of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves. Reeves joined the production in Feb. 2017 after Affleck previously abandoned the project as its former writer and director, and for a long time, it was rumored Affleck was considering leaving the role altogether.
Now Affleck has confirmed it over Twitter: he will not be Batman for the upcoming third reboot of the superhero.
“Excited to see ‘The Batman’ in summer 2021 and to see [Matt Reeves’] vision come to life,” Affleck tweeted along with a link to the Deadline story.
Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life. https://t.co/GNgyJroMIO
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) January 31, 2019
It remains to be seen whether the decision to leave the Batman role was Affleck’s or Warner Bros.’. The actor and the studio reportedly had several creative differences over the project when Affleck first took over as director in 2017, and since then Affleck has seemed increasingly disinterested in the role and the baggage that came with it (hey, look at DC fans’ reactions whenever Affleck was first cast as Batman. You’ll see what I’m talking about).
It’s also unclear whether Affleck is permanently vacating the role or is simply taking a break from it. Reeves’ version of The Batman is reportedly focusing on a younger version of Batman during the earlier days of his career, and one of his inspirations on the project is even Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One.” At 46 years old, it would be very difficult to take Affleck’s features and make him look more like his 20’s, even with the strides we’ve made in de-aging special effects over the past several years.
Either way, I think Affleck stepping away from this role was a good move, both for himself and Warner Bros. It’s very clear that Affleck was getting drained from all of the superhero hype that comes with fandom culture, and it was evident enough in his run-of-the-mill performances in DC’s Suicide Squad and Justice League that the job was taking a toll on him. Taking a break from the role might give him the reinvigoration he needs to come back and do it even better in a future installment, or even walking away from it altogether will force Affleck and Warner Bros. to work on bigger, better things for themselves.
Either way, DC is in the market for its sixth Batman. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to get tired of these reboots.
What do you guys think? Are you excited to see a new Batman in 2021, or do you think it was too soon for Batfleck to hang up his cape? Comment below, let me know.
– David Dunn
SOURCE: Deadline, Heroic Hollywood