Hey kids! Let’s play a game, it’s called “How many ways can Warner Bros cover up the fact that Ben Affleck is leaving Batman until Justice League at least comes out?”
F*ck it, nobody has that many fingers. No use counting.
Ben Affleck’s as good as hung up the Cowl. I think we know that. The writing has been on the stall wall at the DCEU pisspot for months now. First Affleck retreats on directing “The Batman” (leaving Matt Reeves to take the reins), then he loads the trailer up with the script and dumps it at discarded libretto tip, and recently, and most notably, JLo’s former quilt stealer has a good as hinted that he’s not even going to lend his chin to the Batmask from here on out. Even his brother says he’s out.
At this stage, there’s more chance of Affleck doing a Kevin Smith helmed “Jay and Silent Bob” musical than there is anything-Batman after November.
And that’s saying something.
In all seriousness, Affleck wants out – and likely is out – but WB are likely hoping to keep his exit from the DCEU under wraps until at least Christmastime, at which time “Justice League” (his last go-round as Bats) would have made what it’s gonna make and no harm will come of and Affleck announcing he’s “quitting the role to focus on things that don’t suck like a toothy hooker.”
Matt Reeves’ “The Batman” is still on though. Very much so. And I why wouldn’t it be? After all, that’s a major brand right there, there’s lunchboxes to be sold and McDonalds toys to be pimped – not even a poopy Akiva Goldsman script could kept the Gotham city crimefighter off the screen. History tells us so. Even if Affleck is out, they’re not going to wait until they figure out a new, better plan – with a perfect replacement – they’ll just get it done anyway. WB and DC films are the sloppy hitmen of cinema at the moment.
So what is the latest? Well, according to yak from the director “The Batman” – starring Ben Affleck (snigger) – will now be a standalone movie, not connected to any of the other films in the DCEU. That means it’ll share no links to “Batman vs Superman”, have no crossover with “Suicide Squad” and, rather surprisingly, won’t bump uglies with “Justice League”. In other words, it’ll be its own thing – because it’ll BE A TOTAL REBOOT. NEW BATMAN. NEW ACTOR. REHAUL.
Matt Reeves was on The Business podcast with The Hollywood Reporter’s Kim Masters when he let slip that, when he was hired to direct “The Batman”, it was for a movie that would have no link to the previous Brawny Bruce episode.
“When they approached me, what they said was: ‘look, it’s a standalone, this isn’t part of the extended universe,” Reeves said, adding that he has an idea for a trilogy in his head.
Here’s some more lighter fuel to pour on the Bat bonfire : The episode with Reeves was recorded on July 17, on July 21 Masters ran her exclusive on Affleck leaving Batman. Hmm.
It’s also interesting that, this week, Warner Bros began trickling out announcements regarding new DC films that won’t be part of the DCEU. One of the more interesting projects to score ink was an origin movie based on The Joker, Batman’s long-time arch enemy. It, just like the new ‘Batman’ movie, will have nothing to do with any of the recent Gotham-set movies featuring said Bat-villain, nor will it feature Jared Leto, the “Suicide Squad” actor initially signed to reprise the Clown Prince of Crime for umpteen-something movies. It would seem to me that not only is the Batman film franchise getting a facelift – complete with, er, new face – but so too the Bat-universe as a whole.
So how about this, WB? You bring back Michael Keaton to play a senior Dark Knight in that new series and get a Nicholson-type to do his Joker (Christian Slater, maybe?) in the spin-off. Work is already half done for you and you’ve got half a shot at pleasing fans and critics with something that doesn’t sound like an idea a Starbucks barista farted out on their way to pole dancing class.