TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - July 21, 2017
There's been a love/hate thing going on with Ben Affleck ever since it was first announced that he would be the next actor to take on the role of Batman following Christian Bale's take on the character. Granted most of the love didn't come until after Batman v Superman was released and he was one of the least terrible things about that movie, but still, his journey in this role has gone steadily uphill.
Rumors began swirling earlier this year that WB and DC were eager to boot the actor out of the cowl following the already-in-production-at-the-time Justice League, but those murmurs began to die down in the last few months. Now The Hollywood Reporter is stoking the flames again, indicating that Justice League may indeed be Affleck's last go-around as Bruce Wayne.
Now, as with all stories from unnamed sources, take this with a grain of salt. This all began when it was reported earlier this month that The Batman director Matt Reeves was chucking Affleck's script for the upcoming film, and according to THR, "a source with knowledge of the situation says that the studio is working on plans to usher out Affleck’s Batman — gracefully, addressing the change in some shape or form in one of the upcoming DC films."
The article relies heavily on the fact that Affleck is already in his mid-40s and will likely age out of the role before the completion of any kind of film arc. The next oldest member of the Justice League is 34-year old Henry Cavill, so you have to wonder why no one thought of this before casting Affleck in the first place. I get that they were going for the Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns aged Batman thing with BvS, but that's not exactly conducive to sustainability in a shared cinematic universe. Also, RDJ is still playing Tony Stark well into his 50s, so this seems like an excuse manufactured after the fact.
The article goes on to state that there's the possibility they'll keep Affleck on in a mentor role of some sort, in a move that could echo either the Knightfall story arc—where Bane broke Bruce Wayne's back—or like Batman Beyond, where he was the Alfred the Terry McGinnis' Batman. Whatever they decide, they need to do it fast because this hemming and hawing and constant excuse making only hurts the brand in the long run. Make up your minds, DC. Make a plan and move on it. Constantly reevaluating the issue only makes you guys look incompetent. Of course we'll keep you up to date with the latest as it comes in, but let us know your thoughts on this debacle in the comments section below.