Ben Affleck may be being phased out as Batman altogether.
Anyone who’s been following news of Ben Affleck’s solo movie as the Caped Crusader, which has been simply named The Batman, will be aware that it has hit a few bumps along the road.
Most recently, it emerged that Matt Reeves, director of the recent War for the Planet of the Apes who replaced Affleck as director, is dumping Ben Affleck’s script and starting from scratch.
The Hollywood Reporter is now reporting that according to a source, “[Warner Brothers] studio is working on plans to usher out Affleck’s Batman gracefully.” The publication additionally wrote: "it would be wise to bet against Affleck starring in The Batman."
Another actor may be stepping in as Bruce Wayne (Batman transitions have happened before, as occurred with the first cycle of Batman movies in the late 80s to 90s) or it is also possible that a future DCU movie will introduce another character, such as Nightwing, to take over the cape and cowl.
THR made the point that Reeves has plans for a Batman trilogy, but as it is, Affleck will be turning 45 in August. Warner Bros currently has a planned release date for The Batman for 2019 (which at this stage seems very optimistic), and after two more movies, Affleck will be into his 50s.
It’s additionally worth noting that Affleck has a packed schedule ahead of him for the next few years - he’ll be directing and starring in the Agatha Christie adaptation Witness For The Prosecution next, and Warner Bros. wants a sequel to The Accountant.
At the same time, Warner Bros' chief executive Toby Emmerich commented on Friday: "Ben is our Batman. We love him as Batman. We want to keep him in the cowl as long as we can."
Affleck is heading to Comic Con this weekend to promote the new Justice League movie so we’ll know for sure soon.