Another day, another “Batman” rumor which always seems to contradict the last report. And it’s the same kind of back and forth pendulum-swinging story. Gossip and hearsay have swirled for months on whether or not Ben Affleck will be staying on as Batman in the DCEU.
It all started over a year ago when Affleck stepped down as director for the upcoming “The Batman,” which consequently left the job open for Matt Reeves from the “Planet Of The Apes” series. Affleck has also been going through personal problems, coupled with the fact that “Batman V. Superman” was met with vicious reviews and it seems like the guy probably needs to take a breather. Of course, it’s hard to relax when Warner Bros. is counting on you to be their Batman. Through all this Affleck has explicitly denied retiring the cape.
However, if Affleck’s denials quelled rumors for a time, they’re flaring up again tonight like a bad rash. Obviously, there’s been a big shakeup over at Warner Bros. and DCEU; Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns stepped down today. Last week it was Diane Nelson who left as DC Entertainment President. If it’s not clear, WB is not happy with the mediocre results of “Justice League.”
Now, Deadline reports are suggesting that Affleck will be exiting Reeves’ Batman movie and the DCEU altogether. Deadline claims that Reeves wants to reboot Batman as a “standalone franchise,” with a new Batman being at the forefront of the checklist, having been created by Reeves and newly announced Warner Bros. Pictures Group Chairman, Toby Emmerich.
None of this is new of course and really just a rehash of the last 12 months: Ben Affleck is leaving, Matt Reeves is making his own film not connected to the DCEU, he’s hiring a new actor, and oh wait, no actually, Affleck is staying, Reeves isn’t rebooting the film, and no one is taking over the cowl.
Every few months the pendulum swings in either the yay or nay side of this story. The difference is, the report comes from Deadline’s Mike Flemming who has spent decades breaking news in Hollywood. The flipside, Flemming’s Batman “news” is kind of casually tossed off in a story that’s more about changes at Warner Bros. and DCEU, rather than hard and concrete details: nothing is confirmed at this point either way.
Frankly, the DCEU is a mess and the idea of standalone movies operating outside of a movie universe that already exists — i.e., there’s two Joker movies in the works, but only one within the current continuity — is just ridiculous and asking for trouble. File this one under: you’ve said this before, wake me up when something’s official.