Ben Affleck’s run as the Dark Knight appears to be over, judging by an article in The Hollywood Reporter about Warner Bros.’ plans for its upcoming superhero movies from the DC Comics universe.
According to THR, a recent management shift in the DC Entertainment division of WB is creating an uncertain future for Affleck as Batman, with the studio looking to revive the franchise with a fresh (and younger) face.
In its report, THR notes that director Matt Reeves turned in the first act of his screenplay for the standalone Batman feature, which is “said to focus on a young caped crusader, and while the studio would not comment, it’s unlikely that Ben Affleck, who has played Batman in three features, will again don the cowl.”
In interviews, Affleck has run hot and cold about a future Batman project; while he had initially agreed to write, direct, produce and star in a new Batman film back in 2016, by January of the following year his role had shrunk to just star, screenwriter and producer.
However, last July, Reeves (who had been tapped to replace Affleck in the director’s chair) reportedly passed on Affleck’s script, deciding instead to come up with a completely new story.
Next came reports that Affleck was ready to quit the role, which he denied during an appearance at Comic-Con. “Let me be very clear,” Affleck said. “I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part in the universe. I’m so thrilled to do it. It’s f**king amazing.”
Later in the summer, Casey Affleck, fuelled more rumours when he said brother is “not gonna do that movie, I don’t think,” referring to a standalone Batman movie.
By November 2017, however, Affleck appeared to be backing away from the role, describing the Batman movie as “something I’m contemplating,” adding that he was looking for “a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”
Affleck has yet to officially confirm not deny that he’ll be portraying Batman in a future film.