While it had been reported previously and largely suspected for some time, the final nail has been put in the coffin on the era of Batfleck. Ben Affleck himself has finally confirmed that news that he is retiring as the famed DC Comics hero on the big screen, marking a somewhat unceremonious end to his fascinating tenure as Batman. It's now time for someone else to take up the mantle in The Batman.
Ben Affleck recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and, for the first time since the news broke that he's done as Batman, was asked about it by Kimmel. The host asked Affleck point blank if he's retiring the role, to which he replied simply, "I am." Elaborating just a bit further, the 46-year-old actor, writer and director explained that he simply couldn't crack a version of The Batman that he liked enough and, following Justice League, felt it was simply time for someone else to have a go. Here's what he had to say about it.
"I tried to direct a version of [Batman], [I] worked with a really good screenwriter, but kinda just couldn't come up with a version. Couldn't crack it. I thought it was time for someone else to take a shot at it. And they've got some really good people."
Ben Affleck later turned to the camera when asked if he would like to make a statement and said, "I am not Batman." Again, he seemed playful about the whole thing. He also joked that Warner Bros. paid $80 million to have a #12 and "Affleck" digitally removed from the back of his cape, which was there to honor his love of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. This was a subtle jab at the fact that the studio spent millions to remove Henry Cavill's infamous moustach from Justice League reshoots.
Initially, Ben Affleck, who has directed movies such as The Town and the Best Picture winner Argo, was tapped to star in, co-write, produce and direct The Batman, which would have featured Deathstroke (as portrayed by Joe Manganiello) as the main villain. However, Affleck eventually stepped away and that paved the way for Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes, Cloverfield) to come in and take his shot. Reeves threw out the old script and has written his own, noir take that will focus on Batman's detective skills.
When Matt Reeves initially boarded the project, which was nearly two years ago now, it was suspected, even at that time, that Ben Affleck would not be playing the role in his movie. But Warner Bros. wanted to get through Justice League first, which did feature Affleck, before firming up the news. Now, all eyes are on who will take over the role of the Dark Knight. No names have officially been put forth, but there are plenty of fan castings and rumors to go around until a true frontrunner emerges.
Jimmy Kimmel did his best to ease the blow by officially retiring Ben Affleck's Batsuit, hanging it in the rafters of the studio. To make room for the suit, Kimmel had to remove Matt Damon's thong from Behind the Candelabra, which was gifted to Affleck. For his part, Affleck seemed to take the whole thing in stride with a good attitude. The Batman is expected to go into production later this year and has locked down a June 25, 2021, release date. Feel free to check out the clip from the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel below.