A lot of Warner Bros. news was announced yesterday evening, but it appears that the information regarding Ben Affleck's involvement in The Batman has been retracted by the original source leaving everybody around to wonder yet again, what the hell is going on? The Hollywood Reporter announced late yesterday that Warner Bros. and the DCEU were officially making the long-rumored Joker and Harley Quinn standalone movie to be released after Suicide Squad 2. Just a day before, Warner Bros. announced a standalone Joker origin story to take place outside of the DCEU while Matt Reeves explained that The Batman would also take place outside of the DCEU.
The THR story went on to casually say that Ben Affleck would not star in the Matt Reeves directed The Batman and that another star would portray the Dark Knight. The original quote reads.
"Matt Reeves' The Batman, for example, is intended to not be connected to the Justice League universe but to be set in a different time period and star another actor."
But even later last night, after the news began to spread, THR quietly retracted that part of the story with a little note at the end of the original. But they don't completely retract what they had reported before. THR explains.
"An earlier version of this story stated that Matt Reeves' The Batman was part of Warner Bros.' new label and would star a new actor as Batman, but it is unclear where that project will fall."
Rumors surrounding Ben Affleck's exit from The Batman have been swirling for months, so it was not seen as a surprise by anyone that the actor would have left. Just last week, the actor's own brother Casey AffIeck said Ben was done with the role. It is quite possible that the writer of the THR story did some embellishment on a quote from Matt Reeves that surfaced yesterday where he stated that The Batman is "a standalone" and not "part of the Extended Universe." That's the way that the movie was pitched to the director by DC and Warner Bros., which has obviously gone on to lead to rampant speculation about Ben Affleck's involvement in the movie.
While at San Diego Comic-Con last month, Ben Affleck addressed the rumors in a roundabout way, but never said anything concrete. He said that he would play the character for as long as the studio wanted him to do it. While that's all well in good, it's not exactly coming out and saying, "Hey! I'm starring in The Batman, so shut up." Affleck was initially going to write, direct, and star in the movie, but is definitely not writing or directing the movie anymore and that's official. Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) has taken over and decided to start from scratch on a new script.
Related: Every DC Comics Movie in Development
So, it is unclear, yet again, whether or not Ben Affleck will star in The Batman, but looking at all of the evidence surrounding the project, it would appear as if he is not. DC and Warner Bros. usually have leaks of their information come out weeks and months before the news is officially announced and this news has been around for a very long time. Just like Affleck at Comic-Con, THR didn't really retract the news and were rather vague about the situation, which sounds about right for The Batman project.