Ben Affleck is no longer Batman, and now the actor himself has finally opened up a little bit as to the reason why.
After two years of rumours, speculation, denials and half-truths, it was finally confirmed a couple of weeks ago that Matt Reeves' The Batman would release in June 2021, without Affleck in the titular role. At the time, Affleck's only comment was to say he was excited to see it. Now, speaking on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he's given a bit more of an explanation, saying:
"Yeah, I am. I have decided- I tried to direct a version of it, worked with a really good screenwriter, but couldn't come up with a version. Couldn't crack it. So I thought it was time to let someone else take a shot at it and they got some really good people."
It's been clear for some time that Affleck had issues with the direction of his character, which Warner Bros were moving away from the vision he initially signed up for (which, despite no real problems with his performance as such, didn't work in terms of critical approval or box-office). It's an answer that's easy to give and offers a part-explanation, without causing controversy or digging into some of the broader issues that've plagued the DCEU. But, after two years of caginess, it's good to hear it finally spoken about with at least some openness.
Affleck then went on to partake in a retirement skit with Kimmel, with a Batman suit emblazoned with Tom Brady's #12 on it, and the actor saying: "I'm not Batman."
With Affleck officially out, there'll be a lot more speculation as to who will take on the cape-and-cowl. Reeves reportedly wants a younger actor, with Jake Gyllenhaal and Armie Hammer among the favourites right now.
Who do you think should replace Affleck? Are you sad to see him go? Let us know down in the comments.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.