Bleeding Cool has been covering Ben Affleck's long, drawn out exit from the Batman franchise for months now, and today the story takes another turn with a report from THR that claims Warner Bros is preparing for Affleck's exit after Justice League.
Affleck first started acting wishy-washy about his plans to continue under the cowl when he began making revealing comments about The Batman, the standalone film he was set to write, direct, and star in after Justice League, back in December of 2016.
"There's not enough money in the world to make a mediocre version of Batman," Affleck said at the time, amidst other comments on multiple occasions indicating that he wouldn't direct The Batman unless it had a great script.
So it was no surprise when we learned that Affleck would step down from directing The Batman. And while new director Matt Reeves, himself at first hesitant to join the franchise, took over, we knew it wouldn't be long before Affleck's script, the one that there wasn't enough money in the world for him to direct, got the boot as well.
And if we're being perfectly honest with ourselves, we knew from the very first wishy-washy comment that Affleck was looking for a way out of being Batman. His career had taken a nosedive since joining the DCEU. Batman v. Superman was critically panned, and his oscar-bait project, Live By Night, was a bomb that lost money for Warner Bros. Affleck had seen his career crash and burn before, after stinking up the screen in Daredevil, and he wasn't going to let a superhero movie destroy him for a second time.
Now, the new report from THR claims that Warner Bros is preparing for Affleck's exit after Justice League, looking at a way to write him out in-storyline so that a new actor can take on the role. How will it happen? Lazarus pit regeneration, Doctor Who style? Another character, like Dick Grayson, taking the role? And how would that affect The Batman?
Currently, Warner Bros and Matt Reeves stand by claims that Affleck will star in that film, but ask yourself, what has really changed since Ben Affleck started voicing his regrets about signing up to be Batman in the first place? The success of Wonder Woman, perhaps? However, Wonder Woman's success stems from the fact it did the polar opposite of everything the DECU had been doing so far.
If Warner Bros and Reeves are hoping to make more than one solo Batman movie, (which, let's be honest, they probably are,) wouldn't it make sense for Affleck to exit sooner rather than later?
Especially so, we'd guess, if that's been his plan for the past seven months, and everyone else is just starting to catch on now.