Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday's Headlines - The Batman News

Rumors have been circulating since mid-July that Ben Affleck won't be reprising his role as Bruce Wayne in director Matt Reeves' The Batman. With new comments from Reeves seemingly supporting the idea despite Affleck's continued insistence that he's Warner Bros.'s live-action Batman, our Dark Knight sense started tingling and we slipped into our capes and cowls to do some good old-fashioned detective work.

Following the clues - and connecting the dots between various statements made by the actors and filmmakers in question - we've come to the conclusion that there's a good chance the rumors are true: Ben Affleck might not be in The Batman after all. But we're going to digress from those initial reports right now and say there's also a good chance he'll still keep the role for the Justice League sequel, The Flash: Flashpoint, and beyond.

"Wait... what?"

To explain how that's possible, we need to get deeper than the initial rumor which dates back to mid-July. Back then, it was reported that Justice League would be Affleck's last mission as the Caped Crusader, and that he'd be replaced for The Batman and other subsequent films.

Affleck addressed the rumors directly at the time, saying at Warner Bros.’ Hall H panel "Let me be very clear. I am the luckiest guy in the world. Batman is the coolest character in any universe - DC, Marvel and I’m so thrilled to do it. It’s amazing. I still can’t believe after two films… we have this history with this great studio. Kevin Tsujihara and Sue Kroll and Toby Emmerich said to me, ‘We want you to be our Batman.’ I would be a ape on the ground for Matt Reeves, never mind being Batman! I’m really blown away and excited. It’s a great time in the DC universe."
 
However, his comments still left some room for interpretation.
 
Then in early August, Casey Affleck - the brother and frequent collaborator of Ben Affleck - repeated the rumor as his own speculation, saying in an interview “I thought he was an OK Batman. No, I thought he was great. He was great. He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not going to do that movie, I don’t think. Sorry to say."

Ben Affleck’s representatives were again quick to respond, replying publicly to Casey Affleck’s statement and saying the actor would keep playing Batman "as long as the studio would have him." Casey Affleck's representative then chimed in, explaining his comments were purely speculative. However, the evidence that Ben Affleck may not be in The Batman didn't stop mounting with Affleck's denial.

Matt Reeves, who took over directing duties on The Batman after Affleck stepped down, stated in July that his film would be “standalone, not connected to the extended universe.” Couple that with Reeves’ statement that the film would be entirely his vision, and earlier reports that he had moved on completely from Affleck and Geoff Johns’ script, and it’s beginning to look a lot like the rumors about Affleck not starring in the film may wind up coming true after all.

Consider the timing of Reeves’ comments – the podcast on which he made them was released just prior to Comic-Con International: San Diego, which is the same time the rumors that Affleck would not in fact be in The Batman really started to take off.

We’re not suggesting that Reeves' comments are where the rumors originated; not much attention was paid to them until this week. However, the one-two punch of those factors makes a case for the rumor and Reeves’ comments stemming from the same place. We’re also not saying Ben Affleck is lying about his involvement or that he’s been misled.

After all, there’s a way both Affleck not starring in The Batman and still being Batman in other films can be true.

Well, have to wait and see what happens!