As the recent Marvel 10th Anniversary class photo proved, Robert Downey Jr. is the official mascot of Marvel Studios, headlining the Iron Man franchise and appearing in a number of other MCU adventures throughout the years. He's the anchor by which all else is tied. Warner Bros. wanted a personality that could bring the same kind of weight to their burgeoning DCEU. But that superhero movie universe has faltered, and Ben Affleck doesn't know if he wants to still be associated with it. It's easy to guess that Warner Bros. wanted Affleck to be their RDJ. But things haven't worked out that way. Are we to assume that Warner Bros. is hugely disappointed in the actor?
Sure, why not. This idea is mostly a rumor being floated around by hit or miss genre site Revenge of the Fans. And they don't really have anything to back up their claim except some inside sources and speculative deduction. But it stands to reason that Warner Bros. put a lot time, money and effort to get Ben Affleck on board. It didn't work out. And that's disappointing for everyone, even Ben Affleck, who likely had something else in mind. He didn't play Batman to rack up numerous Sad Affleck memes. It was supposed to be something more than that.
Fans genuinely like Ben Affleck as Batman. He makes a good, tired, older Bruce Wayne. It's the movies that have under utilized his talents where the problems start to arise. Both Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad have been slammed by critics, and Justice League, while it made money, is being considered a bomb by the studio. It's a failure in terms of setting up their DCEU for bigger and better things.
Ben Affleck has never committed to returning for the role of Batman in any of the studios proposed upcoming projects. It's been hugely rumored and speculated for weeks that he won't be returning for The Batman. He was once thought to be returning in The Flash standalone movie Flashpoint, but that has never been confirmed. As it stands, the actor is reportedly not ready to commit any further to this particular franchise universe.
According to this latest report, Warner Bros. is sorely disappointed in how Ben Affleck has handled the situation. They allegedly don't like his attitude, and the fact that he hasn't gone 'all out' in promoting the DCEU like Robert Downey Jr. has with Marvel. They are rumored to be disgusted by his sheer lack of enthusiasm. But at this point, can you blame the actor-turned-director? The DCEU movies, with the exception of Wonder Woman have been unmercifully flogged on social media and by the mass critic platform at large.
While this is all a big rumor, it's an interesting concept to contemplate. Who should be mad at who? There was reportedly a lot of behind the scenes tampering that went on with the movies, and just this past week it leaked out that Zack Snyder was fired from Justice League, and it was later covered to make it look like a family tragedy was the sole reason for his early departure from the DC franchise.
The initial source claims the new Dark Knight didn't turn out to be what Affleck wanted it to be. And he's been angry about Warner Bros. trying to rush The Batman into production. This reportedly caused problems for his last directorial effort Live By Night, which also bombed.
As it stands, this latest expose on the behind-the-scenes working of Warner Bros. and their handling of Ben Affleck claims he doesn't want to leave. He also doesn't want to fully commit to doing more movies outside of The Batman. Apparently Jake Gyllenhaal is waiting in the wings to take over. And if that doesn't happen, there are plenty more young and upcoming actors hungry to land a role like Batman. We'll just have to wait a little while longer to see how this all pans out.