The last time I wrote something about Ben Affleck, Batman, and the DC Extended Universe was five days ago. I started off with a preface, “one of these days I’ll write an article about only good things happening in the DCEU, but it is not this day.” Sadly, it is not this day either.
A new report has popped out from Collider Movie Talk (via MovieWeb) where John Campea claims to have heard some some rumors from three separate sources. They all tell him the same thing: Ben Affleck wants to be Batman no more.
Here’s what he said:
“Take this for what it’s worth. This is from a guy who has been burned twice by scoops, so please take this with a massive, massive grain of salt. Over the past four days, I’ve talked to three separate people, who are connected in some way, to what is going on over at Warner Bros. What all three have told me, nothing about whether the script was thrown out or whether they liked the script, nothing about the direction that Matt Reeves is taking it in, nothing about that.
“What has come out of the conversation with all three was this. They’re telling me that, Ben Affleck, make no mistake, he does want out. He doesn’t want to be Batman anymore. I have been told that Affleck is talking with Warner Bros. in an attempt to get out of being Batman. If they do not let him out of being Batman, that the stand alone Batman film that ultimately happens, will be the last time we see Affleck as Batman, because he apparently wants out.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors of Affleck trying to get out of being the man under the cowl. Forbes also speculated last week that him stepping down from directing the film was the first part of quietly exiting the role. They also reported that his screenplay was being completely rewritten from the ground up, but Warner Bros. has denied that.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Let’s take Campea at his word, and trust his sources for a moment.
As far as I understand his contract, Affleck has signed for a three picture commitment. So far that sounds like, if Warners doesn’t release him from the deal, then it looks like The Batman could be his last movie as the Dark Knight. But hold up a second, word has it that Affleck signed up for Batman V Superman and two Justice League movies, specifically, and not a solo Batman film. That would mean the actor probably had to renegotiate a deal with the studio in order to make a solo Batman movie.
It is possible that Warners negotiated to replace Justice League 2 with The Batman, but every ounce of business acumen in my body says that would be a bad deal. I can’t see the studio dropping one movie for another when they could just renegotiate to include a fourth film. Why put yourself into a position where you need to renegotiate a deal for a movie an actor has already signed up for? Something about all of this just sounds off. Then again, I’ve been wrong before.