All the way back in April of 2016 Warner Bros. seemingly confirmed a solo Batman movie (later titled ‘The Batman‘) would be released as part of the future DC Extended Universe slate and additionally, it would be written and directed by none other than the current Batman himself, Ben Affleck.
In August, a cryptic tweet released by Affleck unveiled footage of an armor clad villain waking menacingly towards the camera. DC fanboys recognized this character immediately as the famous comic book villain ‘Deathstroke’ and as it was later confirmed, not only would Deathstroke be portrayed by Joe Manganiello but he would also be the main antagonist in the upcoming solo Batman film.
Seemingly all systems were go with this solo Batman project and presumably it would be filmed after the release of DC’s 2017 tent pole projects Wonder Woman (June 2nd) and Justice League (November 17th). However in a recent interview with The Guardian promoting his next film Live By Night, Ben Affleck gave us quite a different impression. When asked about the his upcoming solo Batman film in regards to writing, directing and starring Ben said:
“That’s the idea”
“But it’s not a set thing and there’s no script. If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great I’m not going to do it.”
Let’s not over speculate here, it’s possible we all jumped the gun in assuming this project was a forgone conclusion. That said, it does seem like Batfleck is distancing himself from a project that Warner Bros. all but confirmed and fans were already very excited about.
It’s possible that negative critical reactions to the previous DCEU releases of Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad have caused Ben Affleck to rethink his involvement with the shared universe and that early screenings of Wonder Woman and Justice League could not raise the bar like many people are hoping. Many speculate that Warner Bros. executives have too much involvement in the creative process and have negatively impacted the films, so it may be possible that creative differences have arisen between Ben Affleck’s and the studios vision. Not to mention his partnership with DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns could also be tumultuous.
It’s hard to imagine that DC wouldn’t do all that they could to keep Ben Affleck as Batman. Especially considering his casting and portrayal as Batman was arguably the strongest aspect of Batman v Superman, which was otherwise a very substandard film. Ben has been a strong DC brand ambassador throughout so here’s to hoping they can correct course on any potential missteps going forward.