Before we get into this, let’s just start by saying that this is just a rumor.
There is no confirmation yet. But there is a rumor, and I emphasize the word rumor, that Ben Affleck doesn’t want to be Batman anymore. The actor has played the Dark Knight twice already, with his third being in the upcoming Justice League. He was poised to direct the hero’s standalone feature The Batman with a script he had written with Geoff Johns. However, he suddenly dropped out, forcing Warner Bros. to enter talks with Matt Reeves to take his place. More on the story below.
The rumor comes to us from John Campea of Collider Movie Talk, who says that three different sources that are connected to Warner Bros, in some shape or form, informed him of the rumor. Campea was quick to say that this should be taken with a “massive, massive grain of salt.”
“They’re telling me Ben Affleck, make no mistake, that he does want out,” said Campea. “He doesn’t want to be Batman anymore.” Sources also tell him that Affleck is in talks with WB to end his deal playing Batman, and if they do not agree to it, the standalone Batman film will be the last time he plays the character. The Batman is tentatively scheduled for a 2019 release.
We have to, like Campea, stress that this is just a rumor. He himself even acknowledges that there might not be any truth to the rumor. However, the DCEU has a reputation for having production problems which has led some of its directors to leave their respective superhero films. There have also been reports of studio interference, as well as the studio ordering rewrites for a script. Which seems to contradict that WB and Affleck are happy with the script.
Still, there is that problematic pattern that WB is experiencing. None of which bodes well for their superhero movie franchise. If Affleck ends up getting what he wants, it would be a huge blow for WB, who has been trying to build the DCEU into a successful superhero movie franchise.
Affleck can be considered the linchpin of the DCEU. He is arguably the most recognizable actor playing one of the most popular heroes. But he has always been ambivalent to saying he would direct The Batman, often times giving lip service during interviews so that people would stop asking him that question.
The actor has repeatedly said that if a script doesn’t come together to his liking, he would not direct. Often times, we were left in the dark about the status of the script. So it didn’t come as a huge surprise when he announced that he would not direct. In a statement, he said:
“Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require.”
There are many who would like to see Affleck stay on as Batman. But he must be really unhappy with the current situation for such a rumor to pop up. That being said, there is no way to verify this rumor and until we get it from those who are closest to the DCEU, it will be considered as such.
[Source: Collider Movie Talk]