While we’ve all been impressed by Ben Affleck’s portrayal of the Caped Crusader, if we’re honest then we have to say all seems a tad problematic with the first solo picture for Affleck’s Dark Knight. And now, it seems as if another major problem has reared its head.
Having debuted as the World’s Greatest Detective in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck’s Batman was quickly confirmed to be getting his own movie – titled simply The Batman. Now while Batman v Superman was largely so-so at best, the biggest plus point of that film was hands-down Affleck as Bats, and so we were all a tad excited to hear that Affleck himself would be directing this Bat-pic as well as writing it with DC’s hugely popular Geoff Johns. And you have to remember, Affleck as a director has wowed many with the likes of Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo – even nabbing the Best Picture Oscar for Argo to go with the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award he got for Good Will Hunting.
Then came rumblings that Affleck wasn’t particularly happy with the way Warner Brothers were putting together their DC Extended Universe, with him notably saying how he wouldn't make The Batman unless he was completely happy with the story and the future plans. That, in turn, was then followed by Affleck decided against directing The Batman. Then, in came War for the Planet of the Apes’ Matt Reeves to direct the film - who only this month has revealed that he’s decided to completely scrap the screenplay and story already put in place by Affleck and Johns.
Now, as per The Hollywood Reporter, it’s believed that it could very well be that Affleck’s time as the Dark Knight comes to an end after this year’s Justice League. At this stage, both parties seem unhappy with where things are right now. Given how the rumours are that The Batman will be the start of a trilogy of movies, it seems that it's vital that a decision is made one way or another on Affleck’s future before things get rolling with the first leg of the trio of pictures.
On Affleck’s part, he’s unhappy with the way the DCEU is being handled and has regularly been rumoured to be walking away from the Batman gig over the past year or so. For Warners, their angle is that they’re planning for the long term and are even now supposedly getting a little bit of cold feet at having a nearly-45-year-old Caped Crusader lining up alongside his younger Justice League colleagues. Then again, this is the same studio who purposely wanted to depict an older, grizzled, war-weary Batman in their DCEU, so you can’t have it both ways.
Additionally, as well as The Batman to potentially launch a trilogy, there’s Joss Whedon’s Batgirl and Chris McKay’s Nightwing now in development, which will both be films that will likely have at least some involvement from the World’s Greatest Detective. And given how Affleck’s Batman was used in last year’s Suicide Squad, the WB could well be eyeing a similar sort of role for him in Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens. Either way, the Batman gig is certainly a major commitment; a commitment that Affleck seems to be having serious second thoughts on.
As ever, expect more on all of this as we get it. What we do know for sure, though, is that Affleck’s Caped Crusader will be next seen in Justice League this November.
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