We need to stop talking about Ben Affleck as Batman. We need to stop having to go through the same dance every couple of days when another rumour emerges that he's either still interested or absolutely not coming back to play the Bat for Matt Reeves. We need to move on.
And so does Ben Affleck.
The latest rumour (from Deadline) now says that Affleck won't be returning for Reeves' stand-alone and that The Batman will actually be a reboot, which makes a lot of sense, given that it's likely to kick off a new lucrative series for Warner Bros. Having an ageing Bat at the end of his career as a superhero with all of his enemies locked away already is not a great starting point.
For all of the posturing and the complaining for Batfleck fans, him moving away from the role would be a good thing. Right now, Warner Bros NEED a reboot to rescue the DCEU from the doldrums and unfortunately, hoping that Aquaman and Wonder Woman 2 aren't as bad as anything else is slim reassurance.
We need to see Batman as he has always been intended - as the lone symbol of fear, existing in the shadows and operating under a veil. He shouldn't be a hulking superman like Affleck's older (and wholly suited Justice League version). He should be creepy, lithe and unexpected.
On top of that, there are lots of things that would be impossible if Affleck sticks around and The Batman follows the same timeline as the mainline DCEU. We couldn't have any stories from his early days, we couldn't have the Penguin, we couldn't have a new Joker and we couldn't have a Robin (and don't we all deserve that?). Basically, we would be incredibly limited as a fanbase.
And if Matt Reeves has accepted the job, there's no way he should have been forced to accept it with that sort of caveat. Removing a significant portion of the source material in the interest of serving a faltering film franchise and an actor who appears not to be entirely enthusiastic about the project would be a joke.
So it's about time we had the confirmation that Affleck IS indeed done and we can all start getting properly excited for what Reeves plans to do.