When Ben Affleck quietly retired as the DCEU’s Dark Knight, it looked to have hammered the final nail into the coffin of his take on The Batman. The actor had spent years developing the project, which endured several lengthy delays as well as a complete creative overhaul, and before he stepped away from the cape and cowl, the two-time Academy Award winner wasn’t even planning on directing the movie anymore.
Matt Reeves took over, and almost as soon as the Planet of the Apes filmmaker signed on the dotted line, he made it clear that his take on the material would be an entirely different animal from what Affleck had in mind. Fans were happy to see a proven talent like Reeves climb on board, but many also lamented the fact that they’d never be able to find out what his predecessor could have brought to the table.
However, now that Affleck has returned to the fold in a big way by suiting up for Zack Snyder’s recent Justice League reshoots and joining The Flash, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive regarding the 48 year-old’s future as part of Warner Bros.’ shared universe. The studio would no doubt love for him to finally get around to making The Batman, and in a recent interview, original villain Joe Manganiello offered up some new details on the pic, including a tantalizing comparison to David Fincher’s most underrated movie.
“There were similarities to The Game. It was a really dark story in which Deathstroke was like a shark or a horror movie villain that was dismantling Bruce’s life from the inside out. It was this systemic thing, he killed everyone close to Bruce and destroyed his life to try and make him suffer because he felt that Bruce was responsible for something that happened to him. It was really cool, really dark, and really hard.”
A veteran Caped Crusader headlining a dark thriller inspired by The Game sounds nothing short of phenomenal, and while it remains a long shot at this point, recent developments surrounding both the DCEU and WB’s plans for HBO Max mean that Ben Affleck eventually tackling The Batman in some form can’t be definitively taken off the table.