Reports that Ben Affleck is no longer attached to The Batman have been rumored for months. First, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was panned by critics and divisive amongst fans. Then, he stepped down as director of The Batman and Matt Reeves was brought in to helm the flick. Lastly, his script for the film was tossed in favor of a new one to be written by Reeves. Since then, rumors began that he would drop out of the role of Batman as well. The writing seems to be on the wall and the possibility is growing that Ben Affleck will not be our Batman in Matt Reeves’ new trilogy. Affleck has been non-committal over the last few months, but the actor has recently gone out of his way to say that the standalone movie is “something I’m contemplating,” which is a pretty far cry from what he said while promoting the film at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con. Additionally, Affleck stated, “You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”
Where The Rumor Started
As the promotional tour for Justice League continues, it appears was reported that Matt Reeves has already thought of a pretty interesting choice for a replacement. Considering that he may have known of Affleck’s exit for months, Reeves has had ample time to figure out who he’d like to take over the role. So, who is the mystery A-list actor that the director wants to star in his new trilogy? Today, media pundit John Campea claims to have the scoop and released the name during his movie vlog.
As you can see John Campea revealed on The John Campea Show, “I’m hesitant to say anything, but I talked to a Hollywood producer yesterday who told me who Matt Reeves wants as Batman.” Campea goes on to say that he was taken aback by the news and even called another source close to the project that confirmed what he had heard. According to Campea, Matt Reeves wants Jake Gyllenhaal to step up and take over as Bruce Wayne. Jake Gyllenhaal has been up for the role of Batman before in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy but ultimately lost to Christian Bale. It’s important to note that this is an unconfirmed rumor at this time, but even if Gyllenhaal were to be announced, it wouldn’t be until after the Justice League promotion has settled.
Before everyone gets sad, we must remember that these are rumors and that casting Gyllenhaal doesn’t necessarily mean we’re losing Affleck. It’s been rumored that Matt Reeves wants his trilogy to focus on a younger Batman. Jake Gyllenhaal is about nine years younger than Ben Affleck so they could indeed be playing the same character in different time periods. This would allow for Reeves to not be hindered by the current timeline of the DC films and for Affleck to continue his role without having to do solo films. Another possibility is that Gyllenhaal could be playing Dick Grayson/Nightwing and that in a future film Bruce Wayne passes the mantle of the Batman on to him. Thus, Ben Affleck can retire from the role without being recast and make small cameos from then on. This would indeed be a graceful and cool way for Ben to exit.
— Harrison Martin (@movieguru23) November 12, 2017
If Gyllenhaal is indeed either playing a younger Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson and Affleck still wishes not to return in any capacity then Warner Bros. has left themselves with a few options on how to proceed. Matt Reeve’s trilogy could be set outside of the current DC films under their new unnamed banner along with the Joker origin story. They could recast Affleck altogether and go with a new actor. Jon Hamm is about the same age and build as Ben Affleck and has the acting chops to take on the role. Or, they could use Flashpoint to reset the timeline and have Thomas Wayne become the new Batman. In the “Flashpoint” comic book story, Bruce is the one who dies in the alley and his father becomes the Batman of the alternate timeline that Flash visits. This would allow for Jeffrey Dean Morgan to take on the role in future films.
At this point, it is unknown what direction Warner Bros. and DC Films will go with Batman but solidifying an actor would be a good place to start! Whether they decide to reboot, recast, or replace as long as they start showing some stability fans and critics should continue to flock to their films in droves.
Do you want Jake Gyllenhaal as the new Batman? Do you think Ben Affleck should stay? Who would you cast? Leave your comments below!