No matter what opinion anyone had regarding films like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad, it’s probably safe to say that most of us want Ben Affleck’s solo outing, The Batman, to come to fruition. I mean, how could you not want another movie featuring one of the most compelling superheroes around?
Being a lifelong fan of the character, I imagine that I wasn’t the only one who felt like they were punched in the gut yesterday evening when the news emerged that Affleck is no longer attached to direct but will still co-write, produce and star in the film.
I’m well aware of the fact that it was said the decision was made so he could give the role the attention is deserved and, while that may certainly be true, it kind of sounded like something that was said to placate media and fans, with there possibly being more going on behind the scenes. After all, there’s been a lot of suspect talk surrounding this project for months now.
Now, just when you thought the hits couldn’t stop coming, Forbes’ Mark Hughes had this to say about some chatter he’s been hearing:
“Unfortunately, among the things I heard about his departure as director, I heard a few specifics that — if true — lead me to worry there is at least a chance Affleck could also walk away from starring in the picture. I don’t feel those concerns are as likely to bear fruit, and I still expect Affleck will finish the screenplay as planned and then start prepping for the role by getting into ‘Batman shape’ to ensure he’s physically and mentally prepared for the role. That said, I do believe there’s a chance now that Affleck could depart the project as an actor, winding up merely serving as cowriter and producer.”
As much as I don’t want that to be true, I could see most of it panning out. With Affleck having made such acclaimed films as Argo and The Town, I don’t imagine him sticking around if Justice League tanks, no matter how much he himself loves Batman. It’s important that we keep in mind the man has his career to think of and needs to put food on the table, therefore, he doesn’t want to relive experiences comparable to those he had with the likes of Gigli and Daredevil.
When it comes to him staying on in some kind of creative capacity if he chooses to vacate the role, I’m not sure if I could see that panning out only because it would just seem weird to have him backing another actor playing essentially the same version of the character he was. And as popular as the Caped Crusader may be, one has to wonder how many times WB can reboot the character before moviegoers become fatigued by the idea.
No matter the outcome, the Masked Manhunter will always live on in cinema, but let’s keep our fingers crossed that The Batman somehow finds its way into theaters in the next few years.