Did Justice League Hint At Batman’s Exit From The DCEU?


It’s safe to say that the whole ‘Ben Affleck is leaving the DCEU-versus-Ben Affleck is staying in the DCEU’ debate is growing incredibly tedious. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that somebody involved in that situation – whether it’s the actor or the studio – is perhaps suffering some kind of decision-making crisis. Truly, at this point, Warner Bros. just needs to get on with it, whichever way that forward motion takes the DC Extended Universe project. With the release of Justice League, though, there seems to be a fairly clear indication of where the story of this particular Batman is headed.

In the film, the Dark Knight and Wonder Woman work closely together to unite a superhero team and save the world, but this process involves some conflict. Specifically, they disagree on some proposals for a particular course of action. When they cross paths at a later point, Diana Prince notes with concern the physical toll that vigilantism is taking on Bruce Wayne, and Bruce suggests his time battling crime and other-worldly threats is probably limited. This is framed within a conversation that implies Wayne believes that Wonder Woman should be the leader within the Justice League – and this is a viewpoint that entirely makes sense. She’s a morally and ethically superior demi-goddess, after all.

This also makes a great deal of sense within the film franchise, too. This version of Batman was specifically intended to be the older, battle-weary Batman of the DC Comics. He’s the solitary brawler, and Ben Affleck did a great job in that portrayal in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. But, Justice League introduces a new era for the DC Universe – with Wonder Woman and Batman no longer operating as solitary superheroes, but rather being part of a super-powered team. In order for that to work, the character of Batman needs to evolve.

With this scene, Justice League seems to very clearly pave the way for Ben Affleck’s departure from both the DC Extended Universe and the role of Batman – and that’s fine. This pop culture icon has always been a revered treasure to be passed from actor to actor, from generation to generation. Once this franchise instalment has enjoyed its run in theatres, it’s perhaps time to look forward to whoever will next slide into the driver’s seat of the Batmobile.