Wonder Woman notwithstanding, the fledgling DC Extended Universe hasn’t really got off to the best of starts, has it?
Sure, the combined box office total of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad and the recently-released (and critically panned) Justice League may be just shy of $3 billion, but those reviews and lowly audience scores haven’t been kind to Warner’s output thus far. And it shows.
Prompted by Justice League‘s recent failure, Variety brings word that Warner Bros. is now in the process of a major shake-up that will see a change of personnel at the top-end of its DC Films division. But it seems that overhaul isn’t exclusive to the back-end, as Ben Affleck is “highly unlikely” to reprise as Gotham’s Dark Knight for The Batman.
Granted, the DC rumors have been coming in thick and fast – last we reported, Warner had seemingly let The Batman slip onto the back-burner in order to lend Matt Reeves more time to flesh out his vision – but Variety is asserting that Ben Affleck’s time in the DC Extended Universe has come to a close meaning that, yes, Justice League will go down as his final appearance in the cape and cowl.
He’ll still swoop into the Flashpoint movie, which could be his way to “segue” out of Warner’s superhero franchise. Now for the million-dollar question: who will take up the mantle in Affleck’s absence? Jake Gyllenhaal has been floated as a possibility, while we recently learned that Mad Men alum Jon Hamm is quietly campaigning for the title role in Reeves’ Batman flick. From Don Draper to the Caped Crusader? We can see it. Besides, there’s only one year separating Hamm and Affleck, which would certainly make the inevitable (?) transition that little bit easier.
One thing’s for sure: Matt Reeves is angling The Batman to be the first in a brand new trilogy, so whoever winds up replacing Batfleck will be in it for the long haul.