Warner Bros. is reportedly prepping for Ben Affleck to no longer be the DC Extended Universe’s Batman. Affleck’s relationship with Batman has been controversial from day one. Upon his casting, the majority of people could not fathom the idea of Affleck playing the Dark Knight after what happened with Daredevil. Once the perception started to turn around, his DCEU debut in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was incredibly divisive. Even though he was one of the brightest spots of the film, he could not shake the backlash and pressure that was suddenly on his shoulders.
Affleck was previously scheduled to star, write, and direct his solo film, The Batman, but stepped down as its director at the beginning of the year. Now, with new director Matt Reeves starting from scratch on the script (and abandoning Affleck’s), the studio is reportedly working on a way for Affleck to exit the franchise completely.
THR is reporting that Warner Bros. is working on a plan that will gracefully usher Affleck out of the DCEU. How it will happen has not been revealed, only that it will be addressed in an upcoming DCEU film. With Justice League due out in theaters later this year, there is a possibility that it could be his last appearance.
The news of Affleck and WB working on an exit strategy coincides with rumors from earlier this year that Affleck wanted out of the DCEU. However, since that rumor began, it was repeatedly stated from a variety of people involved with the DCEU and The Batman specifically that Affleck was their guy. Now, it continues to become clear that is not actually the case – and the timing of this revelation could change WB’s approach to San Diego Comic-Con tomorrow.
Affleck and the rest of his Justice League cast members are set to appear at WB’s panel tomorrow to promote the team up and most likely introduce the newest trailer. With this news now out, there is no doubt that eyes will be on Affleck and any interviews with him or DC Films president Geoff Johns will bring up this topic. Considering THR’s report is not an official announcement, all parties involved are sure to downplay it as it could be a big blow to Justice League.
Once Affleck’s exit is official – if that comes to pass – it will be fascinating to see how the universe explains it. Will the Nightwing movie actually be about Dick Grayson in a world where Batman has recently died or retired and is now struggling with the decision to carry on the mantle? Will another DCEU movie introduce a brand new Batman from a different reality? WB will have options, and whatever decision they make will have a lasting impression on the DCEU.
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