Ben Affleck on Directing in James Gunn's DC Universe: "Absolutely Not"

The DC Universe is in a new era. This past fall, Warner Brothers Discovery officially formed DC Studios, a sub-division of the industry giant that would be completely dedicated to producing projects from their expansive sandbox of superheroes. The Suicide Squad director James Gunn and Shazam! producer Peter Safran were brought in to lead the studio, resulting in an all-but fresh start to all things DC. Gunn announced that the franchise would move forward without Henry Cavill as Superman but DCEU originals like Viola Davis's Amanda Waller would be returning. Mix in rumors of Jason Momoa switching characters altogether, and it's clear that even if Gunn and Safran want to pivot an actor or director, they are all about retaining the talent they inherited.

One of those persons potentially getting repurposed was Ben Affleck. The DCEU's Batman actor will suit up in the cape and cowl at least once more this June in The Flash, but his future past that, including his already-shot appearance in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, is uncertain.

Once upon a time, Affleck was set to be a foundational piece of the DCEU, as he was expected to direct a solo Batman movie following the character's debut in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Those plans ultimately fell through, as DC's solo Caped Crusader franchise pivoted to Robert Pattinson and Matt Reeves, but Gunn's clean slate sparked speculation that Affleck could helm The Brave and the Bold, the DC Universe's upcoming Bruce and Damian Wayne project.

Those rumors have been emphatically shut down by Affleck himself.

"I would not direct something for the [James] Gunn DC. Absolutely not," Affleck told THR. "I have nothing against James Gunn. Nice guy, sure he's going to do a great job. I just wouldn't want to go in and direct in the way they're doing that. I'm not interested in that."

This comes three months after Gunn confirmed that he had discussions with Affleck about directing a project in this new-look DC Universe. Gunn noted that both parties wanted Affleck to direct, but they had to "find the right project." Affleck's words indicate that his vision for a DC film, regardless of the character, does not gel with the tone and style that Gunn is setting up for this universe.