When Ben Affleck was announced as the new Batman in 2013, there were howls of disapproval from fans. In retrospect, it’s difficult to understand why: Affleck looks the part, has proved on multiple occasions he’s a talented actor, and his writing/directing chops should have made him ideal for a solo adventure.
However, as with most things relating to Warner Bros. and the DCEU, the studio fumbled the ball. Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a hit but was met with terrible reviews, though the director’s cut Ultimate Edition turned many haters around on the movie.
Now, with James Gunn hammering the final nails into the SnyderVerse coffin, fans just wish we’d gotten to see a feature focused entirely on Batfleck:
It’s well known that Matt Reeves’ The Batman began life as a vehicle for Affleck’s take on the character. In 2016, Affleck and Geoff Johns were working on a story set after Batman v Superman they described as being inspired by Grant Morrison’s Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, the Knightfall comics arc, and Rocksteady Games’ Arkham Asylum.
But, with chaos at Warner Bros. after the Justice League debacle, Affleck departed the project, naming the stress of his divorce from Jennifer Garner, the miserable experience of Justice League, his battle with alcohol addiction, and simply not finding the role fun anymore as reasons to leave.
The Batman eventually turning out great helps soothe the wound, but we’ll always wonder what the Affleck movie would have been. Fans agree, considering his time in the cowl a big wasted opportunity:
Was it worth it for Pattinson’s Batman?
But we haven’t quite seen the last of him. Affleck is currently scheduled to reprise the role in both The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, though with the ongoing shakeup at Warner Bros., we wouldn’t be surprised to see him cut once again. Our fingers are firmly crossed that these final two appearances happen, as even with supporting roles in other heroes’ movies we want to pay tribute to the Dark Knight with the most untapped cinematic potential.