The Batman is currently filming, and the reboot film will introduce the world to a new live-action movie version of Batman, played by Robert Pattinson. However, even as Pattinson gets set for his big screen debut as Batman, there are a lot of fans still pining for what could've been with Ben Affleck's version of Batman. Well, after the failed Justice League movie in 2017, Affleck largely stayed out of the limelight. Now Affleck is back with a new film, The Way Back. While doing press for that film, Affleck had to inevitably face questions about his time as Batman - and why he left it all behind.
"I don't think I even realized how iconic the character was until I took the job and that was a big story," Affleck said. "It happened at a time when the Internet was expanding into the movie business in a different kind of a way and the fan sites and the relationship with the fans and the studios and the comic book creators was changing and evolving... I really loved Batman v Superman and Chris wrote on it and I really love Zack and I loved putting on the costume, the idea of doing the digital alteration to the voice was really interesting to me, and I had a good time. I love Detroit, a really fun city, a really cool place. My kids came out and visited me and saw me in the Batsuit and they let me borrow the suit for my son's birthday, so that was a lot of fun.
I had my fill of that. They said, 'Would you want to direct and star in a solo Batman movie?' I found that I had lost my enthusiasm or passion for it. This should really be made by somebody for whom it's their wildest dream come true and, for me, it had become something different and it was clear to me that it was time to move on. But I do have some really fond memories, particularly of Batman v Superman, and how exciting that was. And how energizing it was and how much fun we had."
There's questionable discrepancy between what Ben Affleck says above and the actual timeline of what happened with his time as Batman. For one thing, Affleck was in fact set to write, direct and star in a Batman solo movie set within the DC Extended Universe franchise; so it wasn't that he was simply asked by Warner Bros to do it, and turned it down due to fatigue. Affleck took the reigns of the Batman franchise and then slowly-but-surely disappointed legions of DC fans when he dropped the project ; first dropping the writing/directing duties to focus on performance, and then leaving the role entirely.
In the end though, the sentiment behind Affleck's "explanation" is ultimately honest: he didn't know how big of a deal his Batman casting would be, and the experience with the negative fandom, the studio meddling, and media scrutiny clearly left him sapped of his enthusiasm for the character and world. Here's hoping Pattinson fares better (that Twilight experience may prove invaluable).
Upcoming DC movies include Wonder Woman 1984 on June 5th, The Batman on June 25, 2021, The Suicide Squad on August 6, 2021, Black Adam on December 22, 2021, Shazam! 2 on April 1, 2022, The Flash on July 1, 2022, and Aquaman 2 on December 16, 2022.