If rumors are to be believed, Ben Affleck’s time as the Caped Crusader might be numbered. According to a report by the Hollywood Reporter, the people at Warner are planning to phase out Affleck and introduce a new Batman after his solo movie comes out. This piece of news comes after Matt Reeves, director of the Planet of the Apes film series and the future Batman film, dropped Affleck’s screenplay for a new one.
Once upon a time, Affleck was slated to star, direct, and write the plot for his solo Batman movie. Warner thought it was a great idea but with the lukewarm reception of Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, it might seem otherwise. This might be the reason Reeves was bought in to ensure the new Batman movie will live up to all the hype. Otherwise, Warner Bros. would just be throwing a truck-load of cash away without getting anything in return. But hey, there may be a number of reasons why this can happen. Let’s take a look at the implications of Affleck’s departure from the DC Extended Universe.
For starters, Warner and the entire DC film plan will look tremendously stupid. As compared to Marvel, DC films look bleaker and more serious. There’s nothing wrong with that but these characters should not be these things. If anything, they should be closer to their comic counterpart who can bring the best out of people rather than inspire fear in everyone. And with Affleck being ushered out, the continuity will look more troubling. I mean, how are they going to explain a new Bruce Wayne, one that looks very different from the prior films? If they manage to create a compelling explanation, the folks over at DC will surely attract more fans away from other film universes.
Warner can definitely get an A-list star to fill in for Affleck when he leaves the franchise. The question that’s begging to be answered is if this actor can deliver a performance that can please die-hard and casual fans? Now, on this point, it’s clear that Affleck looks the part of the Dark Knight and can pull of every aspect of the character. The problem, though, is how screenwriters and directors handle Bruce Wayne and Batman. All of his appearances in the DCEU left a lot to be desired and Affleck’s performance doesn’t have anything to do about it. In fact, there hasn’t been an actor who can play both Bruce Wayne and Batman effectively. Michael Keaton might have nailed the Batman part but he sucks as Bruce Wayne. On the other end of the spectrum, Christian Bale is the perfect Bruce Wayne but his Batman is just trying too hard. And don’t even get me started on Val Kilmer and George Clooney folks.
If Affleck leaves the DCEU, the Batman franchise may take a big hit and the entire film universe will suffer. His replacement must go above every expectation and deliver a performance that will make people forget Affleck was even Batman.