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Why Ben Affleck may not return as Batman

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batman justice leagueWarner
Bros.


  • Actor Ben Affleck is reportedly heading back to rehab
    for alcohol addiction treatment.
  • This raises further speculation about Affleck’s role as
    Batman, which has already been called into question numerous
    times.
  • “The Batman” director Matt Reeves reportedly wants a
    younger version of the character, which means that Affleck
    would most likely not return.
  • Warner Bros. has also reshaped its strategy for its DC
    films, and is moving away from a shared cinematic universe in
    favor of standalone stories. 

 

Actor Ben Affleck is heading back to rehab to seek treatment for
alcohol addiction, first reported by People and corroborated
by multiple other outlets. That’s a subject that should not be
taken lightly, but it also raises speculation about Affleck’s
standing within the universe of DC films in which he portrays
Batman.

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the actor can receive
the help he needs and also continue in his role as the Dark
Knight, who he has played in three movies so far (“Batman v
Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad,” and “Justice
League”).

But even before this report, Affleck’s future as the Caped
Crusader, especially in director Matt Reeves’ (“War for the
Planet of the Apes”) upcoming solo film, had been called into
question numerous times.

First, The Hollywood Reporter
reported last July that DC and Warner Bros. were looking for a
way to “usher out” Affleck’s Batman, and address the change in a
future film within the DC Extended Universe. Since then, rumors
have consistently suggested that Affleck would be out, Warner
Bros. has reshaped its entire DC film
strategy
, and “Justice League” tanked critically and
financially when it opened in November. 

After a series of failures, Warner Bros. is moving away from its
shared cinematic universe of DC Comics properties to focus on
standalone stories. “Wonder Woman” proved to be a critical and
commercial hit, and it’s no coincidence that it was largely
removed from that broader universe. The sequel, “Wonder Woman
1984,” will likely follow suit, as will the upcoming “Aquaman”
and “Shazam!” movies.

This suggests that Affleck’s take on Batman no longer fits into
Warner Bros.’ plans. Furthermore, Reeves’ screenplay for his solo
film, tentatively titled “The Batman,” reportedly features a younger
version
of the character, according to The Hollywood
Reporter.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Affleck wouldn’t make an
appearance, perhaps as an older Bruce Wayne who trains a
next-generation Batman. But it’s becoming more and more apparent
that Affleck will probably not headline the movie.

“The Batman” does not have a release date set yet, but if Reeves
has finished a draft of the script, it’s likely that it will move
forward sooner rather than later — and that doesn’t bode well for
the chances of Affleck’s return.

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