And the hits just keep on coming. The industry is reeling from the official news that Ben Affleck was departing DC's planned solo Batman movie, saying in a statement that he isn't prepared for the amount of work that comes with starring AND directing a project of this magnitude. To date, Affleck's appearances in the DCEU as the Dark Knight have come other someone else's watch, be it Zack Snyder or David Ayer. Well, now rumors are starting to swirl that Affleck might pull out of the project altogether, which would create a massive hole for DC and Warner Bros. to fill.
While everyone was reporting on the news that Ben Affleck was exiting the director's chair for the still-untitled Batman solo movie, Forbes reported rumblings that they have been hearing saying that indicators are in place that Affleck would walk away from the role, completely.
Now, Forbes goes on to say that they believe that this won't come to pass, that Ben Affleck will finish up the screenplay, then begin getting back into what they refer to as "Batman shape" so he can star in the planned solo DC movie, which was planning to film in the Spring. However, with no director in place, the movie seems to be facing a delay -- and the same thing can be said for The Flash movie, which currently has a star (in Ezra Miller), but no director.
But I don't think that this idea is too far-fetched. And while I KNOW that you guys aren't in my office, I swear to you that I just told a co-worker that I felt in my bones this was the beginning of the end for Affleck, and that he'd depart the project entirely in time. Why? Because we ruined him. Fans and journalists (guilty as charged) pestered Ben Affleck for months for new Batman news. Even while promoting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck was so bothered by the pressure of being Batman that it created a meme. Several memes.
If I was Ben Affleck, I wouldn't want to deal with this type of pressure. If YOU were Ben Affleck, you wouldn't want to deal with this type of pressure. And on top of that, Ben Affleck isn't a player in this industry who needs a tentpole movie on his resume. Yes, Live By Night tanked... and it tanked hard. But Ben Affleck directed a Best Picture winner in Argo, and is a critically adored filmmaker. He should be able to do what he wants, when he wants.
Right now, this is a rumor. It feels possible, but not probable. At the very least, we know that Ben Affleck plays Batman in November's Justice League movie. Beyond that, it's up in the air. We have several suggestions on who should replace Ben Affleck in the Batman chair. As for his acting, we'll see what happens.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.