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Ben Affleck's Batman Movie Was Focused on Arkham & Bruce's Darker Side

Batman Arkham Asylum Art

Ben Affleck's scrapped The Batman film was supposed to have a dark psychological narrative set in Arkham. It's been months since it was officially announced that the actor was departing his DC role, but it was far longer than that since fans first had an inclination that he was looking for a way out. Debuting in 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, he reprised the role again the following year in Justice League. His version of Bruce Wayne was also tipped to get his own standalone which he was set to star, write and direct.

It wasn't long before Affleck's debut that plans started to change. First, he stepped down as the director and writer for The Batman standalone, supposedly to focus on his performance. Matt Reeves came in to take over the responsibility, but between persistent rumors that he wanted to exit and the lack of project updates, fans were understandably concerned. Now, he's officially replaced by Robert Pattinson, the public may never learn what the original story was for Affleck's iteration, until now.

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Related: SDCC Tells Matt Reeves Not to Screw Up The Batman Movie

During his recent guesting on Happy Sad Confused podcast in celebration of the release of his latest gig, Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, cinematographer Robert Richardson shared some narrative details about Affleck's canceled Batman solo film. He first expressed regret not being able to push through with the said project saying that he "wanted to shoot Batman with Ben because it was the next film [after Live By Night]." He then revealed how far along the movie was when he was still attached to it, saying that "there was a script, but not a loved script. There were a lot to do... he was trying to change it and then he made the decision to do as you know, Gone Girl." As for the film's narrative, he says that Arkham Asylum was where they "were going." 

"Well, he was going more into the insanity aspects. So I think you would've seen something a little darker than what we've seen in the past and more into the individual, who was inside Batman - what element may be sane and what element may actually not be sane. So he was entering into a little more of the Arkham, as you know, he's going into where you keep everyone who was bad, everyone that shifted and Batman. And so that whole aspect was sort of, it was very fascinating to go to the darker side of Batman."

Ben Affleck as Batman in Batman v Superman

While the public were initially skeptical about Affleck's casting as Batman, he surprised everyone in Batman v Superman, and in just one film, he turned naysayers into fans. This was why seeing him go was extra difficult. On top of that, seeing an older, beaten Bruce Wayne was a significant departure from what have been previously done on the big screen regarding the character. And thanks to this new information, it seems like he was making sure that his version of the DC iconic hero is different from his predecessors. And considering his stellar rogues gallery, this particular narrative could've fully taken advantage of that.

That said, since specific plot details for Reeves' The Batman film is still under wraps, perhaps he will adapt some of these story beats to Pattinson's solo outing as the Caped Crusader. Pattinson can very well deliver in terms of performance given his stellar acting portfolio. That being said, considering how Affleck was in the role, it's difficult not to be bummed out by this news.

More: Batman Producer Urges Fans Not to Prejudge Robert Pattinson's Casting

Source: Happy Sad Confused

Key Release Dates
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
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