A month ago, while promoting his passion project Live by Night — which he directed, wrote, produced, and starred in — on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Ben Affleck confirmed that he would be directing The Batman, his first standalone film as the Caped Crusader.
However, after Live by Night bombed at the box office — causing a $75 million loss for Warner Bros. — Affleck reportedly experienced a crisis of confidence, questioning whether or not he could simultaneously direct and star in a big-budget superhero movie. In the end, he chose to step down as director of The Batman, citing his desire to focus on the acting side of the role. And according to recent reports, Matt Reeves, the talented director behind Cloverfield (2008) and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes (2014), will take the helm.
While many of us had hoped that would put an end to all the drama surrounding The Batman, John Campea is now claiming that three separate sources have told him over the past four days that Affleck no longer wants to be The Dark Knight in the DCEU.
"Ben Affleck, make no mistake, he does want out," Campea shared on today's episode of Collider Movie Talk. "He doesn't want to be Batman anymore." He added, "I've been told, Ben Affleck is talking with Warner Bros. in an attempt to get out of being Batman. And if they do not let him out of being Batman, the standalone Batman film that ultimately happens will be the last time we see Ben Affleck as Batman."
Campea offered up some disclaimer ahead of the statement, but his statements, and issuing of sources, were both presented as definitive. This also isn't the first time someone has reported talk within WB of Affleck leaving the role, which started as early as when he first left the director's chair.
The Batman does not yet have an official release date from Warner Bros., but regardless of any of this extra drama and rumors, Ben Affleck will next appear as Batman in Justice League later this year, a movie that's finished principal photography.
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Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and The Flash (Ezra Miller)—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.
MORE: The Batman: Matt Reeves Replacing Ben Affleck as Director / The Batman: Warner Bros. Reportedly Pleased With Current Script / The Batman Will Reportedly Get "Fresh Start" With New Director / The Batman's Original Script Reportedly Included The Joker, Other DC Villains
Justice League will open in theaters on November 17, 2017. The Batman release date is TBD (to be determined).