One of the worst kept DC movie secrets of recent times is official: Ben Affleck will not be suiting up as Batman for Matt Reeves upcoming movie The Batman. Yesterday the movie was officially announced as having a June 25, 2021 release date.
After multiple rumors making the rounds for over a year that Affleck was unhappy working on the DC franchise or that the powers-that-be at Warner Bros. were considering parting ways with the actor, the separation was confirmed in a Variety report yesterday.
Or was it?
Whatever anyone thinks about Batman v Superman or Justice League, there's no denying that Ben Affleck and Zack Snyder gave fans possibly the best on screen Batman of all time. So despite the drawn out rumors, the news still felt like a gut-punch from Bane to the legions of Batman fans who loved this version of the caped crusader.
So when Ben Affleck himself chose to comment on the news via Twitter, not a few noted that he offered his support, he did not expressly confirm that he was done with the role. Affleck tweeted "Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life."
While that tweet clearly shows Affleck will not be involved in The Batman, a movie the Oscar-nominated director was originally supposed to script, direct and star in, it does fall somewhat short of a heartfelt goodbye. For reference check out Chris Evan's tweet after wrapping up filming Avengers 4.
So is Affleck done for good? Let's think about this for a minute: Affleck played an older version of Batman who had been active for about two decades. However he played him alongside much younger heroes like The Flash, Cyborg and the current king of the DC box office - Aquaman.
Matt Reeves' Batman movie will feature a younger version of the caped crusader with a story inspired by Frank Miller's Year One comic. That storyline followed Batman's first year as a vigilante and chronicled his missteps, mistakes and near demise. Sounds like the makings of a great movie.
Reeves' movie will likely be successful, but that does not have to be the end for "Batfleck". Frankly, unless The Batman breaks all box office records and makes close to $2billion, the actor playing a young Batman may not get to play with the Justice League - because you know WB is going to want to try that again.
But considering that there are no plans to recast the majority of the Justice League, it would be incongruous to have them one day appear alongside a miraculously younger Batman. Not even a Lazarus Pit could accomplish that feat believably.
And that's where the door remains open for Affleck because at least two members of the Justice League are untouchable - Wonder Woman and Aquaman. After the stunning success of Aquaman and anticipated success of Wonder Woman 1984, it is more likely that DC will be encouraged to pursue solo projects involving the other core members of the Justice League.
Ray Fisher, who played Cyborg, has been downbeat about the chances of a Cyborg movie while The Flash standalone movie was expected to begin shooting last March but due to Ezra Miller's commitments, production was reportedly moved back to late 2019 for a potential 2021 release. The Flash movie may even feature Cyborg as co-star or in a cameo.
Henry Cavill is the only other actor from DCs recent past with any question marks around his return as Superman. His agent, Dany Garcia shot down reports of his being done with the role of Superman within an hour of their release so his return is still a possibility.
So is there room for Ben Affleck to don the cape once again? The answer is an improbable yes.
What do you think? Is Affleck done for good? Or just for the Batman movies needing a younger caped crusader.