The day we’ve all been dreading has finally arrived today, with the announcement that Ben Affleck will not reprise his role as the Caped Crusader in the DCEU. This comes on the heels of an almost two-year long rumor that the star would be exiting the cinematic universe after the poorly received Justice League film back in 2017. At the film’s conception, Affleck was originally set to direct and star in The Batman, while also co-writing the script with Geoff Johns. When Affleck announced he’d be stepping down as the film’s director back in January 2017, WB quickly began to court War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves for the project. Fast forward to today and the actor has now taken to Twitter to voice his excitement to see (not play) Batman in the upcoming DCEU entry:
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) January 31, 2019
I know some people look at his tweet and see a small glimmer of hope since he didn’t use the words “I’m out”, but we all know what his tweet means. This news comes as not only a huge blow to DC fans, myself included, who were eager to see Affleck put on the cape and cowl for another DCEU Batman outing, but the DCEU as a whole which is now seeking a new actor to take up the mantle. Since coming aboard to direct the project, Matt Reeves has long been suspected of keeping the focus on a younger Batman in his trilogy, and while he has not revealed how early in his Bat-career it’ll be, he did confirm that the film would *not* adapt Batman: Year One – a popular comic arc written by Frank Miller that follows the Caped Crusader during his first year in Gotham City. Matt Reeves has described The Batman as a “detective driven, noir-style film” and is currently rumored to feature a rogues gallery of villains – Penguin is one of many Bat-villains that are currently rumored to appear.
Now let’s try and piece together how we got to this moment. This part of the article is purely speculation and is no way confirmed by Warner Bros, DC, or Affleck himself. When Zack Snyder first approached Ben about joining the DCEU as an older Batman, it was clear that he wouldn’t be in the role for 10-15 years which is why he only signed a short contract to appear in only a few DC films. In fact, Snyder revealed on his plans to kill off Batman in one of the Justice League sequels: