[Update: Warner Bros. has seemingly confirmed Affleck will direct too. Scroll down for more.]
When Ben Affleck was announced as the actor who would be playing Batman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the reaction on the Internet was mixed. The name “Batfleck” was coined to refer to the actor in his role as the Dark Knight. Then the movie came out and though it has been divisive, there’s one thing many viewers seem to agree on: Ben Affleck as Batman was by and large one of the best things about it.
With that being the case, it is no surprise that fans immediately began clamoring for a solo movie, with some positioning it as a major opportunity for Warner Bros. in light of Batman V Superman‘s lower-than-expected ticket sales. When news emerged that Affleck himself had written a solo Batman movie and that there is a strong chance it’s actually pretty good, that only increased speculation about the movie coming to fruition. Now the rumors can stop, though, because Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara has weighed in on the movie’s future.
Collider reports that while appearing at a Warner Bros. panel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, Tsujihara officially confirmed an Affleck-centered Batman solo movie has been greenlit, telling the audience, “We’re excited to be working with Ben Affleck on a standalone Batman film.” What he didn’t say is whether the movie would be written and/or directed by Affleck, so speculation on that can continue until it is officially confirmed (or not).
Batman V Superman director Zack Snyder has said that Affleck being in the director’s chair would be a “prerequisite“ for a solo Batman film, and given the level of creative control Warner Bros. has given to Snyder so far, that seems like the best indication of it happening. Affleck is certainly no amateur when it comes to screenwriting or directing, either, having made a name for himself by co-writing the script for Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and later going on to direct a trio of successful films with Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo. The Town in particular proved that he can direct some very compelling action scenes, which would be a must for a Batman film.
With all those factors coming into play, it would be surprising if Affleck did not end up with creative control of his Batman solo film, but this early in the game it’s impossible to say for sure. One way or another, it looks like he will be spending plenty of time wearing the batsuit in the foreseeable future as Warner Bros. continues to build the DCEU.
UPDATE: Birth.Movies.Death claims that Tsujihara has now listed Ben Affleck among the “filmmakers” the studio is excited to work with in the DCEU – strongly suggesting that, as we already hinted, if Ben Affleck was going to star in a Batman solo film, he’d also direct it. The studio has yet to come out and spell out confirmation but, unless Tsujihara was playing fast and loose with how they’d be working with filmmaker Affleck, it’s safe to say the award-winning director will helm the Batman movie.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020. A date for the Batman film has not yet been announced.