In news that comes as little surprise, Ben Affleck appears to be done as Batman, reports Deadline.
This comes a mere handful of hours after a Hollywood Reporter interview with Matt Reeves, the Planet of the Apes director who’s helming The Batman, the long-in-the-works next solo installment about the Caped Crusader. Reeves refused to say whether Affleck was jumping ship or not. Now Deadline is saying they “hear” the Oscar-winning writer and director will no longer be involved.
Affleck appeared to confirm the Deadline story by tweeting it out, writing, “Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life.”
Affleck had originally planned, back in 2015, to make The Batman an all-Affleck product, with him co-writing (with Geoff Johns) an original story and directing himself in the role he only got to play thrice. His version of Bruce Wayne, which he bowed in Batman v Superman, was an older, more weathered, and more brutal version than Christian Bale’s beloved iteration, with streaks of gray hair and a vibe that faintly recalled the famous paparazzi photo of him “enjoying” a stress smoke.
By early 2017, Affleck had stepped down from directing The Batman himself, but remained committed to his starring role. In the preceding two years, Affleck’s commitment came into doubt. As recently as October of 2018, Affleck was rumored, but not confirmed, to be done with Batman, just as Henry Cavill was allegedly stepping down as Superman. Nowadays, Cavill’s role in the bumpy DCEU remains ambiguous, while Affleck’s appears to be a semi-official negative.
So there you have it — probably. Perhaps Affleck will change his mind. Perhaps he won’t. After all, he’s a busy man, currently starring in and producing I Am Still Alive, the adaptation of Kate Alice Marshall’s novel, as well as reuniting with his Accountant director Gavin O’Connor for Tolerance. (And surely there’s an Accountant 2 en route.) Should Justice League turn out to be the last we see of Affleck’s Batman, there’s one person who’s definitely bummed about that: Affleck’s apparently estranged bud Kevin Smith.