Ben Affleck‘s tenure as Batman in the DCEU has been in constant back and forth all year, despite the extremely positive reception he received in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Originally slated to star in, produce, write and direct the solo Batman film, he ended up stepping down as director back in January and brought on previous collaborator Chris Terrio (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Argo) and DC Comics president and CCO Geoff Johns to rewrite the script, citing the unmanageable work involved and citing a desire to focus on his performance. Not long after, rumors began circulating that Affleck was trying to get the studio to “gracefully usher” him out of the role, which he demied emphatically at San Diego Comic Con, citing his excitement for continuing the role. Everything seemed good until comments made by Ben’s younger brother Casey Affleck, while on WEEI’s sports radio show. Host Rich Keefe asked about the rumors about Ben and The Batman to which he replied:
“I thought he was an okay Batman. No, he was great. He was great. He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not gonna do that movie, I don’t think.”
Keefe then informed Casey that he had just broken some major news, to which the younger Affleck replied:
“Is that breaking news? I was just kind of making that up.”
Matt Reeves himself has been a mild source of contention regarding Ben Affleck and The Batman from the moment he confirmed that he would not be using the current script (rumor has it he’s bringing on previous collaborator Mark Bomback to write a new draft), putting the inclusion of Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke into question. Reeves has also made it known his plans for Batman in the DCEU could potentially involve a trilogy of films, which seems to be the main fact supporting the Ben-wants-out rumors. Two days ago, Reeves was a guest on the radio station KRCW where he dropped this bombshell:
“Well I have a vision for a way to do something with that character [Batman] that feels like it resonates with me personally, and a perspective that can grow out into other things. When they [Warner Bros.] approached me, what they said was ‘look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.”
These comments immediately started a shitstorm on the internet along with reports that a Joker origin movie without Jared Leto’s involvement is on the horizon, spurred by the concurrent announcement that Warner Bros. is launching a second DC Comics film imprint separate from the DCEU.
Reeves took to Twitter yesterday to clarify his previous statements:
This could either be a case of extremely sensitive and overzealous fans and detractors just looking for any modicum of truth to wgat they are afraid of and/or think they know, or it’s all true. Hollywood isn’t some entity that must be truthful, they’ve lied and his things before and they will again. Affleck, Reeves and the studio have always insisted that Ben is their Batman and until it’s announced and confirmed by Affleck and/or the studio, it’s all just smoke.