*Sigh* Another month, another story about Ben Affleck leaving the cape ‘n’ cowl behind…
While Affleck’s future as the Caped Crusader has been widely discussed and speculated about over the last year or more, now comes further word that Matt Reeves is looking to use his upcoming The Batman to replace Affleck as the World’s Greatest Detective and have the picture serve as a reboot of sorts.
The usually reliable Deadline is the source of this latest story, with the story suggesting that Reeves will restart the Dark Knight for a standalone franchise away from the standard narrative established so far in the DC Extended Universe.
The DCEU as we know it is still full steam ahead, with Aquaman arriving this year, then Shazam!, Wonder Woman 2, Green Lantern Corps., a Man of Steel sequel, Gotham City Sirens, Birds of Prey, and Cyborg all just part of a larger picture that will also see introductions for the likes of Black Adam, Batgirl, Nightwing, Lobo, and the New Gods. How can Warner Brothers continue forward with this DCEU – a DCEU that has already featured Affleck’s Batman – if it’s rebooting its Caped Crusader completely? That’s where Flashpoint could come in handy.
With Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen taking centre-stage, that film is seemingly going to pull inspiration from Geoff Johns’ iconic Flashpoint comic book arc in which the Scarlet Speedster completely alters the timeline and sees major repercussions play out. The end result was the New 52, which was DC Comics’ way of relaunching their entire comic book world and having free reign to make plentiful changes to a whole host of characters. Basically, if Warners wanted to start afresh with anything involving the DCEU, Flashpoint would be their perfect chance should they wish to take that route.
It’s thought that Toby Emmerich – the WB’s new Chairman – is keen to move away from the grim and dour Batman that Zack Snyder has painted on the big screen, and so that’s a key part in wanting to essentially reboot Bats with a more uplifting and light-hearted approach.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard rumblings of Ben Affleck departing this most iconic of roles, and we’re sure it won’t be the last. For what it’s worth, we’re huge fans of Batfleck and think he’s been a pretty brilliant Batman to date (certain comedic moments, aside). At the last count, Mad Men's Jon Hamm was the name on everyone's lips when it came to potential replacements, with Jake Gyllenhaal publicly having distanced himself from such speculation.
As ever, expect more on this as we get it.