While DC and Warner Bros have not provided any official indication that Ben Affleck will soon retire from the Batman role, numerous rumors and reports suggest that it's at least a possibility. Affleck himself recently said that he's looking for a "cool and graceful" way to segue out of the cape and cowl, so if the actor does indeed decided not to reprise the DC Extended Universe's iteration of the Caped Crusader for Matt Reeves' The Batman, then who would succeed him? If one new rumor is to be believed, apparently Jake Gyllenhaal is being looked at for the job.
In the most recent episode of film pundit John Campea's YouTube show, he mentioned that Ben Affleck retiring as Batman has been a "foregone conclusion" since the beginning of the year. With the in mind, Campea has heard that Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the people that Matt Reeves is eyeing to play the DCEU's new Batman. To be perfectly clear, though, this doesn't mean that Gyllenhaal playing Batman is a sure thing. His name has been supposedly floated as a candidate, but there's no guarantee that he'll sign on or that Warner Bros would pick him. For those of you pointing out that Gyllenhaal is nearly a decade younger than Affleck, Campea mentioned that there are two possibilities on what's happening with The Batman that would explain the age discrepancy: it's set outside of the DCEU (less likely) or it takes place before Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (more likely).
Having a new actor playing Batman on the big screen isn't new territory. After Michael Keaton departed the franchise following his two collaborations with Tim Burton, Val Kilmer was brought in for Batman Forever, and George Clooney succeeded him on Batman & Robin. Christopher Nolan fortunately retained Christian Bale for all of his Batman trilogy, but if Ben Affleck is indeed departing the DCEU as has been reported (again, not official), then we're back to someone else taking over as Bruce Wayne. Jake Gyllenhaal would certainly be a big score for the DCEU, as he's proven with Nightcrawler that he can work well with dark material. Whether Gyllenhaal's Batman is a younger version of Affleck's, continues where Affleck's version left off or even exists in a separate continuity, it would be interesting to see what kind of gravitas he brings to DC's infamous Dark Knight.
As for Ben Affleck, he's at least had a decent run playing Batman, starring in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, as well as cameoing in Suicide Squad. Affleck did say at San Diego Comic-Con this past summer that he's the "luckiest guy in the world" to be able to play Batman, and that he would be "an ape on the ground" for Matt Reeves, referencing Reeves' work on the latter two Planet of the Apes reboots. Nevertheless, if there's official word on Affleck leaving Batman behind, we'll be sure to let you know.
You can see Ben Affleck's Batman back in action in Justice League, which will begin screening tonight (don't forget to order your tickets) and opens wide tomorrow. Look through our DC movies guide to see what other projects this franchise has coming down the pipeline.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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