Buried in a report about the state of Warner Brother’s movie ‘The Flash’, Variety planted the statement:
“The studio is not moving forward with Batman and Superman movies featuring Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, respectively. It is expected to recast the Dark Knight with a different actor.”
Variety is one of the most in-the-know trade publications in the world, so it’s entirely possible that they are privy to information others aren’t. And this revelation lines up with information that has surfaced over the past few months, including rumors.
It is common knowledge that Affleck will not star in Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’, seeing as the script features a younger Dark Knight at the beginning of his crime-fighting career. But Affleck is, as of this moment, still attached to produce. Reportedly, the script isn’t yet where it needs to be, so it is being revised before casting can commence.
Affleck had previously been attached to co-write, direct and star in ‘The Batman’ but due to behind the scenes scuffling, he walked away and there don’t appear to be any plans to showcase his Batman again in another film.
Affleck has been rumored to be ditching the role of Batman for quite some time. ‘Batman V Superman’, ‘Suicide Squad’ and ‘Justice League’ were all under-performers at the box office. Fans mocked his casting when it was first announced, although his solid performance managed to win many over.
Cavill wasn’t a big name before he was cast in ‘Man of Steel’. That movie wasn’t a massive success, but Warner Brothers was desperate to launch a shared universe like Marvel’s, so they built theirs upon this controversial film. Cavill has since turned in a crowd-pleasing performance in ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ and will star in Netflix’s upcoming fantasy series ‘The Witcher’, so he may not feel the need to trudge back to this embroiled franchise.
He recently said no to Warner Brothers, when they requested that his Superman make a cameo in ‘Shazam!’.
It was reported in September that Cavill was completely out as Superman in upcoming DC movies, but his managers were quick to refute that. But the fact remains that there don’t seem to be any Man of Steel film projects in the works.
Warner Brothers has ‘Joker’ currently filming. That movie is directed by Todd Phillips with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead and is not connected to any existing DC movies. ‘Birds of Prey’ is developing quite quickly, with most of the leads cast.
Perhaps most tellingly, there are movies for ‘Batgirl’ and ‘Supergirl’ in the works. Considering that the only true successes that WB has had with their DC movies are ‘Wonder Woman’ starring Gal Gadot and Margot Robbie’s crowd-pleasing turn as Harley Quinn in ‘Suicide Squad’, it’s not unimaginable that the studio would get in touch with its feminine side. There is even talk that these female-fronted projects will replace Batman and Superman. That seems like a huge stretch, but at this point, it’s not inconceivable.
Take this with a grain of salt for now, until official announcements are made, but considering that these “rumors” pop up on a regular basis these days, it seems like only a matter of time before Warner Brothers announces that they are hammering in the last nails in the coffins of these two franchises.