The on-again off-again relationship between Ben Affleck and The Batman has taken a surprising twist today, following a new report claiming that Affleck will not star in the film.
The saga of Affleck quitting The Batman has been going on for nearly a year now, with Affleck slowly distancing himself from the role by first quitting his role as director of the film, then his role as writer. However, despite multiple reports over the past several months that Affleck wants out of the DCEU and will not star in the new film, Affleck seemed to set rumors to rest when he said himself at Comic-Con that he was sticking around as Batman, only to have his brother contradict him in a radio interview a month later, after which he swore again that he really is going to star in the film.
But according to a new report from THR, that's not the case:
"War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is developing a Batman stand-alone that, according to sources, will not star Ben Affleck, who plays the caped crusader in the DC Universe movies (Warners and Affleck have denied he is being replaced). The plan is to launch a separate label for these projects to distinguish them from the rest of the DC films. (Warners executives are acutely aware of the risks of audience confusion.)"
How can it be so difficult to determine once and for all whether or not Ben Affleck will play Batman in The Batman? Okay, fine. We'll give it to you straight, definitively, right now, once and for all: Ben Affleck will play Batman in The Batman. And he won't.
To explain how an actor can both play and not play a role at the same time, we spoke with world-renowned Boxofficologist and real person, Professor Thaddeus T. Puffinbottoms.
"What's happened here is a classic case of the theory of Schroedinger's Batfleck," Professor Puffinbottoms explained. "Quantum mechanics dictates that, until one arrives at the movie theater and watches The Batman for themselves, the movie will both star and not star Ben Affleck."
But how can that be?
"The nature of Ben Affleck's role in the film is determined by random subatomic Hollywood gossip events," Puffinbottoms told us. "Affleck may quit or not quit The Batman at any time from now until the movie's release, and there are so many clickbait gossip articles about it that it's impossible to know ahead of time what happened. Therefore, we must consider Affleck to be simultaneously starring in and not starring in the movie, until each of us is able to witness it with our own eyes."
According to Puffinbottoms, the situation is so volatile that Affleck's presence in the movie may vary from theater to theater, and even from person to person in the same theater. "We may be sitting just a few feet away from each other, but you see Ben Affleck, and I see Idris Elba as Bruce Wayne. Within the laws of quantum physics, this is totally possible."
Wait. Idris Elba might be the next Batman?
"Trust me," the Professor said. "I'm a scientist. I know what I'm talking about."
"Some questions," he told us, "aren't meant to be answered."
The Batman is expected to hit theaters sometime in 2019, maybe. Who knows, really? But whenever it does, by then, hopefully, we can finally figure out whether or not Ben Affleck is starring in it and we can all move on with our goddamn lives.