Fans have been divided by Ben Affleck in the DC Comics Universe, since he first stepped into Bruce Wayne’s shoes for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, especially when the actor/filmmaker announced he would be taking on double duty for The Batman, his first standalone film. A few weeks ago, Affleck announced he would be stepping down as director, focusing all of his efforts on playing the Dark Knight and letting Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Let Me In) take over the reins. Now, suspicions have been raised that Mr. Affleck may be walking away from the Warner Bros. produced franchise altogether.
Is Ben Affleck Retiring As The Batman?
Ben Affleck has been vocal about his love for the Batman franchise as soon as he was first attached to Batman v Superman, so no one batted an eye when the Dawn of Justice actor stepped down as director of The Batman. Ben just wanted to do what was best for the film, he said, but, as the Mercury News reports, there may have been more to the story than just a sense of love for the project. It now seems that Mr. Affleck is trying to completely abort the DC Universe.
Sources at Warner Bros. are now reporting that Affleck is trying to get out of his obligation to continue playing Batman, stressing that Ben is unhappy with the negative attention the role has attracted. Even if Warner Bros. compels Affleck to stay on board with The Batman, it seems unlikely that the actor will reprise his Bruce Wayne persona in any further films.
The assumption going forward at this point is that there will be a new Batman for the Justice League and Justice League Part Two, though Mr. Affleck is still listed in the credits on IMDb at this early juncture.
News that Ben Affleck will be giving up his Batman role may further divide DC fans, many of whom felt Ben came across as too bland and monosyllabic as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego, especially considering the memorable performances of Christian Bale or Michael Keaton.
Matt Reeves Steps Up To Rescue The Batman
While there hasn’t been an official announcement as of yet, Forbes reports that it’s generally understood that Reeves will be taking up The Batman, following the departure of Ben Affleck. New to the DC Comics Universe, Reeves has been considered something of a wild card, and delays in production, due to Matt’s War for the Planet of the Apes obligations, only serve to create greater tension for what may be a doomed project.
While The Batman seems to be suffering too many setbacks, some believe Matt Reeves’ unique vision is just what the Batman franchise needs, even if that means re-imagining the character for the upcoming Justice League ensemble films as well. While Ben Affleck, co-writing with Geoff Johns, has already supplied a script for The Batman, which already went through a second treatment with Chris Terrio, it’s been suggested that Reeves will want to rework the script. In fact, Matt may entirely rewrite the entire story for The Batman, depending on negotiations with Warner Bros.
Previously, Reeves took over the Planet of the Apes franchise with his first offering, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, receiving Best Picture and Best Director nominations for 2014. Matt has established his talent for taking a failing franchise and turning it around, so there’s no surprise that Warner Bros. is courting Reeves for The Batman. The director may have his own visions, far from anything Ben Affleck had planned, and that may be just what’s needed to reinvigorate the Dark Knight for future films.
[Feature Image by Warner Bros.]