Pictured: Ben Affleck, presumably on the phone with his agent.
Last night we learned Warner is restructuring their DC films after Justice League‘s less-than-stellar reviews and profits. Buried in Variety‘s report on the matter was the news that it’s “highly unlikely” Ben Affleck will play Batman in The Batman, to be directed by Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), after Affleck stepped down as director and his script was rewritten. Variety reports Affleck will likely stay on long enough to play Batman one last time in The Flash‘s spinoff, Flashpoint, contrary to rumors about Jeffrey Dean Morgan possibly taking over the Batman role due to the film’s alternate timeline (it’s complicated).
This news has been a long, long, long, time coming, with Affleck even saying during the press tour for Justice League, “I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.” Along with rumors of Affleck’s possible disinterest in Matt Reeves’ version of The Batman, there have been rumors that Reeves wanted to recast someone younger anyway, and he even has someone in mind.
Radar Online is batting around a rumor that Jon Hamm is “desperate for the gig,” but we’re taking that with a huge grain of salt in light of rumors that Reeves is casting younger and Radar Online is Radar Online. Meanwhile, according to John Campea (possibly the first person to report Affleck was quitting The Batman), the recasting would be a “pure recast,” meaning there’d be no convoluted plot explanation involving Flashpoint for his different casting; he’d just be recast in the same manner as the earlier Batman movies did.
Campea also revealed who Matt Reeves has at the top of his wishlist: Jake Gyllenhaal. Coincidentally, Gyllenhaal once auditioned for Batman Begins, telling The Daily Beast in 2016, “You can’t ask an actor in Hollywood who hasn’t auditioned or been in the running for one of those roles. It’s almost a rite of passage”
Gyllenhaal has also jokingly explained how he’d like to play the character, along with sharing his very unique take on the “Batman voice,” in an interview on The Howard Stern Show.
I’d definitely buy a ticket for, “I’m f*cking Batman, you kidding me?” And I almost made it through this entire post without making a joke about Ben Affleck glowering at his batsuit and growling, “I wish I could quit you.”