“Let me be very clear, I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest part in the universe. I’m thrilled to do it. It’s fucking amazing….“I know there’s this misconception that because I didn’t direct it I wasn’t enthusiastic about it; it’s f*cking amazing… and with Matt Reeves doing it, it’s like I’d be a f*cking ape on the ground for Matt Reeves – nevermind being Batman! It’s incredible! So I’m really blown away and excited and it’s a great time in the DC Universe. You’re going to see some stuff from Justice League that we’re really really proud of, and I’ll think you’ll see why I’m really excited to be Batman.”
That was Ben Affleck at last summer’s Comic-Con, and look, you either believed his enthusiasm or you didn’t. The fact of the matter is that stories have continued to emerge that he’s looking for an exit strategy from his role as Batman, and that Justice League is likely to be the last time he suits up. This all started when Matt Reeves replaced Affleck as director of The Batman, then threw his script out completely to start over from scratch. Rumors swirled that Reeves’ film would star a different actor, and now today in comments to USA Today, Affleck says his involvement is “something I’m contemplating.”
Elaborating a little bit, Affleck confirms that he is indeed looking towards an exit from playing Batman…
“You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it, “, Affleck said.
So does that mean The Batman is his way of saying goodbye to the Dark Knight? And is it even up to him? What if Reeves actually wants to go in a different direction with a new star?
It’s not as if Affleck has been mired in playing Batman for years. Justice League would only mark the second feature-length performance he has as the Caped Crusader, but it’s undeniably come with a price. The distraction definitely hurt his ability to focus on Live by Night, and the poor response noticeably shook him.
I think Affleck’s decision will depend on the fan reaction to Justice League, which opens this week on November 17th. If they love it, he’ll be jazzed to stick around. But if has to go on another “Sad Affleck” press tour then you might as well start fitting other actors into the Bat-suit.