[Update: In conjunction with the news that Matt Reeves has officially signed on to direct The Batman, it was announced that Ben Affleck will remain in the role, playing the title character in the solo film.]
The Batman has been the source of much rumor as of late. Although never officially dated by Warner Bros., the upcoming solo film was expected to follow through on the praise Ben Affleck's performance as the Dark Knight received from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. With the added attention the film would likely garner having an Academy Award winner staring, writing, producing, and directing the film, hopes were undoubtedly high for the project. That plan has since changed.
Word broke recently that Affleck would no longer direct the film, and that Matt Reeves will be his likely successor. With directing and most of the writing responsibilities of his plate, things seemed to be looking up for the film with Affleck's workload being cut considerably. However, the latest rumor points to him wanting to eliminate that workload altogether.
On the latest episode of Collider Movie Talk, host John Campea stated he has heard from three separate sources involved with Warner Bros. over the last four days that Affleck is looking to leave the role of Batman. Along with a warning to take what he's heard with a grain of salt, Campea said:
"Ben Affleck, make no mistake, he wants out. He doesn't want to be Batman anymore."
Campea went on to say his sources tell him Affleck is in discussions with Warner Bros. to get out of his deal to continue playing the character, which includes The Batman, but if a deal cannot be reached in time, the solo film will be the last appearance he makes as the character.
Previous reports have pointed to the possibility of Affleck's departure, despite public comments about his being committed to the project. Losing Affleck entirely would be a major blow to the cinematic universe Warner Bros. is building, leaving the studio in a difficult situation of having to recast arguably its biggest and most recognizable character.
Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment president Geoff Johns have been quiet throughout this entire process, which only fuels speculation about what, if anything, is actually happening behind the scenes of the film. For the sake of Warners, the DCEU, and fans, hopefully Affleck will play Batman for years to come and help boost the DCEU to new heights, but for now must wait and see how the situation surrounding The Batman unfolds.
As it stands, this information is a rumor and only a rumor. There is no indication that Campea's sources are 100 percent reliable -- a fact that even he acknowledges -- and these kinds of scoops have been proven false in the past. Given the magnitude of what is at stake and the potential shakeup that a departure by Affleck would cause the DCEU, it is best to take this news as pure speculation until it is proven otherwise.
Source: John Campea
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