When Ben Affleck was cast as the Caped Crusader in 2013 for Zack Snyder’s divisive comic book film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC fans were very vocal in their disgust in the selection. Upon the movie’s release, however, Affleck’s Batman was by far and away thought to be the best part of the film giving Warner Bros. a solid central character to build its cinematic universe around. Unfortunately, by the time the franchise’s first team-up title Justice League hit cinema screens the Worlds of DC (formerly the DCEU) was not living up to its potential, with Wonder Woman being the only well received film out of its five pictures to date. While no fault of Affleck’s, the movies that his Dark Knight has appeared in, which also includes Suicide Squad, simply haven’t delivered on the level that audiences have come to expect franchise superhero films to. Given all the troubles at DC, and in his own personal life, Affleck’s Batman future has been up the air for quite some time now.
Originally, Affleck was set to undertake all of the heavy-lifting on the Batman project, saying that he was set to write, direct and star in the solo film. However, as time went on the 47-year-old withdrew his position further and further to the point where the notion of him even appearing as Batman seemed slim, let alone helming the movie. The more recent revelations of his serious personal issues off-screen have brought to light more of the understandable reasons for the Oscar-winning filmmaker stepping down from duties, having just put out a statement with regards to his current recovery period following a stint in rehab. What’s more, once Affleck had stepped down as director on The Batman Warner Bros. gave the job to Matt Reeves who has now completed the script and has been rumoured to be looking for an actor 15-20 years younger than Affleck which has led many to assume that the film will take audiences back to the character’s earlier days long before the events of Batman v Superman.
A new report from Hollywood Life has claimed that a source “close to the actor/director” told the publication that Affleck’s new fitness regiment has everything to do with his desire to return to his Batman/Bruce Wayne role:
“He is back in shape not only for his health but he has a new-found love on doing Batman at least one more time again. He feels he isn’t finished with what he wants to do with the character. There has been talk about replacing him, but he is now seeing what he might lose and really wants to play the character again. Especially seeing what Joaquin Phoenix is doing with the Joker character.”
As always, it’s important to take the comments with a grain of salt as we do not yet have confirmation that Affleck will have anything to do with The Batman and his newly found enthusiasm for physical training may simply be for personal health benefit alone, or for another project entirely. There’s his upcoming sports drama Torrance, which will be directed by his Account collaborator Gavin O’Connor, in which Affleck plays a former Basketball star trying to land work as a coach. Torrance is supposed to begin filming in the near future and it’s far more likely that Affleck would be getting in shape for that part than for a Batman return, not to mention the fact that The Batman isn’t set to begin shooting until next summer – a long way off for anyone to begin changing their appearance for.
The Batman is yet to receive an official release date