For a while now, there have been numerous rumors that Ben Affleck has been wishing to vacate his role as Batman in the DCEU, believed to have been born out of his frustrations during his original multi-tiered role as actor, writer, producer and director of The Batman, which resulted in DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns coming aboard to help with the screenplay. Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio would later rewrite their script into a new treatment. Affleck eventually stepped down as director and was replaced by Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield), although this only threw the issue of the script into question and did nothing to quell rumors of Affleck leaving despite studio chief Toby Emmerich‘s assurances, “Ben is our Batman. We love him as Batman. We want to keep him in the cowl as long as we can.”
Over the weekend, rumors began coming out of Comic Con that Warner Bros. was planning to “gracefully usher” Affleck out of the role, paving the way for another actor and member of the Bat Family to take over. The announcement of the Flashpoint film only fanned the flames, with the consensus being the studio would use the timeline changes inherent to the story to bring in a new Batman. Ben Affleck Addresses these rumors during the Justice League panel, confirming that he would not be leaving the role and is excited about working with Reeves. He stated:
“I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part in any universe, Marvel DC, anything–I’m so thrilled to do it. Its fucking amazing. I still can’t believe it. Everyone at the studio tells me I’m their Batman and I believe it. And Matt Reeves? I’d be an ape on the ground for Matt Reeves. Im blown away and its an exciting time in the DC Universe. I’m excited to be Batman.”
While this essentially definitely ends speculation as far as that’s concerned, there’s still the issue of the script and what changes that will have on the current development.
When Reeves came onboard, he was immediately asked on if he would be using Affleck, Johns and Terrio’s script, to which he replied:
“No it’s a new story. It’s just starting again. I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be really cool.”
Prior to his involvement, the film had already cast Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, based on the original script. With Reeves starting from scratch, Manganiello himself isn’t even sure if he’s still involved. And while there hasn’t been an official announcement from the studio yet on what direction the new script will go in, Reeves has said it will be “a noir-driven, detective movie.”
A story posted by Splash Report on Friday stated that their sources are saying that Reeves is bringing Mark Bomback on to help write the new script, which would be their third collaboration following this year’s War for the Planet of the Apes and 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Bomback’s other credits include The Wolverine, Total Recall, Unstoppable, Race to Witch Mountain and Live Free or Die Hard. Hopefully, we’ll get some confirmation regarding this sooner rather than later. Check back here for more information as it becomes available.