Ben Affleck is still Batman. Maybe. Depending on who you believe. Though the official word is (and has always been) that he remains the Dark Knight, rumors of Affleck’s departure from the role have been circulating off and on for nearly two years. Between the merciless critical response to ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Suicide Squad’, the indifference that greeted ‘Justice League’, and the ongoing turmoil surrounding ‘The Batman‘, it’s not hard to see how the idea took root in the public consciousness, especially given Warner’s massive (but still vaguely defined) course correction of their DC films and the subsequent (though likewise officially unconfirmed) reports that Henry Cavill has stepped down as Superman.
The latest wrinkle in the increasingly exhausting saga of ‘The Batman’ comes courtesy of the ‘Fanboy‘ podcast. Citing a pair of unnamed sources, host Mario-Francisco Robles is reporting that the infamously ambivalent Affleck has once again warmed to the notion of reprising the role of Batman. According to Robles’ sources, this came following talks between Affleck and the powers that be at Warner. The sticking point, at least this time, would appear to be director Matt Reeves’ wariness regarding the prospect of saddling ‘The Batman’ with the baggage associated with Ben Affleck’s iteration of the character (and by extension, Zack Snyder’s divisive-at-best take on the DC Universe).
The idea that was reportedly being floated was essentially a compromise between a full-blown “Batfleck” solo film and a standalone feature. What it would have entailed was establishing the film as a prequel to the character’s appearance in ‘Batman v Superman’ – which has been rumored as a possibility from the start. This would have been done by bookending the film with a framing story. That framing story would have featured Affleck as Batman, presumably narrating or otherwise tying into the film’s main narrative, which would feature a different actor (perhaps the director’s rumored choice of Jake Gyllenhaal) as the “past Batman.” This would have left the door open for Affleck to stay in the role while allowing the studio to move forward without him if the need should arise. Unsurprisingly, Robles is describing the idea as something of a near-miss, with the talks having supposedly taken place in mid-October.
And with that, we return to our regularly scheduled wait for some sort of official word on Ben Affleck’s non-exit exit from the realm of DC movies. Do you want to see him return to the cape and cowl or would you prefer it if Warner cleared the decks for someone new? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for more on ‘The Batman’ and other upcoming DC films as it becomes available!