In the wake of Justice League, Ben Affleck's future as Batman in the DCEU continues to be called into question. The actor has suggested in recent interviews that he may be done with the role and recently, it was reported that The Batman director Matt Reeves may be eyeing Jake Gyllenhaal to take over in the upcoming solo movie. Now, we have some new details on the movie, which make the possibility of Affleck not returning all the more interesting.
When the news of Jake Gyllenhaal's possible involvement in The Batman broke, it was reported that Matt Reeves' proposed Batman trilogy would take place either before the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice or outside of the DCEU continuity altogether. According to film reporter Mario Francisco-Robles, The Batman will take place after the events of Justice League and will just be swapping out actors. Here's what he had to say about it.
"The Batman will not be a prequel or reboot. It's the [Justice League] Batman... [Jake Gyllenhaal] will be almost 40 when The Batman is out. He still has operated for 20 years, but his age will be less of the focus."
This news is coming from an "unnamed source" so it should most definitely not be taken as gospel, but it's certainly worth considering. It's not unheard of to have an actor swapped out and have continuity continue. Val Kilmer picked up the role of Batman after Tim Burton's movies and his version picked up where Michael Keaton left off. It's also happened with slightly less significant roles, like when Don Cheadle replaced Terrence Howard as James Rhodes in the MCU. But audiences are more slavish to continuity these days and some may not love the idea. Mario Francisco-Robles also says the Jake Gyllenhaal casting is likely to be confirmed at some point.
"[The Gyllenhaal] news will probably be confirmed, because now Affleck is most likely not coming back. The last few weeks have been clear he wants out. It's a bummer. So I think that is why the [Gyllenhaal] stuff is leaking harder."
The other factor to consider is that Justice League didn't even bring in $100 million at the box office this weekend. Considering that's the lowest opening weekend for a DCEU movie so far, it puts Warner Bros. in an interesting situation. Some of their future DCEU movies were likely going to be determined by Justice League's performance at the box office. The question becomes, how does that affect The Batman?
As of right now, Matt Reeves is signed on to direct The Batman, but there's no word on a release date. According to the report, via El Fanboy, "Reeves is going to do some stuff influenced in crime film and deep Batman mythos" with the movie. That sounds like something Batman fans would like to see, but it almost certainly won't be Ben Affleck behind the cowl this time around.