- Ben Affleck is not returning as Batman, Deadline reported on Wednesday.
- Affleck seemed to confirm the report by tweeting it and saying he was excited to see the director Matt Reeves’ “vision come to life.”
- Affleck’s future as Batman has been in question for over a year, and Reeves reportedly wants a younger version of the character.
- Affleck’s departure is part of a shift in strategy for Warner Bros.’ DC Comics movies.
Ben Affleck is hanging up the cape and cowl.
The next standalone movie starring the Caped Crusader, tentatively titled “The Batman,” is set to hit theatres on June 25, 2021, but Affleck will not be along for the ride, Deadline reported on Wednesday.
Affleck tweeted Deadline’s report that evening, saying he was excited for “The Batman” and to see the director Matt Reeves’ “vision come to life.”
A representative for Affleck did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment. But Affleck’s tweet is the closest thing yet to confirmation on his future as the Dark Knight, which has been in question for over a year.
The Hollywood Reporter first reported in July 2017 that Warner Bros. planned to “usher out Affleck’s Batman gracefully,” citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation. Since then, there have been major signs that Affleck will not return as the character.
Reeves’ script calls for a younger Batman, The Hollywood Reporter first reported last June. And Warner Bros. has shifted its strategy away from a shared cinematic universe in favour of standalone movies, suggesting Affleck’s Batman is no longer part of the plan. “Aquaman” showed that the new strategy could work, as the movie is disconnected from previous entries in its DC Extended Universe and has made over $US1 billion worldwide.
Affleck appeared as Batman in three movies in the DCEU: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Suicide Squad” in 2016, and “Justice League” in 2017. The movies were lambasted by critics, and “Justice League” was a major box-office disappointment.
Affleck isn’t alone in ditching the DCEU though. The Hollywood Reporter reported in September – and was followed by other publications like Variety and The Wrap – that Henry Cavill would not return as Superman as Warner Bros. focuses on a Supergirl movie instead.
Reeves, who also directed the handheld-camera monster movie “Cloverfield,” the vampire horror “Let Me In,” and “War for The Planet of the Apes,” told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Wednesday that his Batman movie’s title could change.
“I’m working with it as ‘The Batman’ in my head and that’s what we’ve always referred to it as,” Reeves said. “But these things have taken a life of their own. As we go deeper into it, it may become clear, ‘Oh, actually this might be a great spin on the title.’ But as of now, it’s ‘The Batman.'”
Reeves also hinted that there could be multiple villains in the movie.
“You can’t have Batman without a villain,” Reeves said. “There will be a rogues gallery.”
Other upcoming DC Comics movies include “Shazam!” in April, “Joker” in October, and “Wonder Woman 1984” in summer 2020.
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