“Round and round she goes,
where she stops, nobody knows!”
Officially, Ben Affleck is still the cinematic Batman and has been since he was cast in the role in 2013 for BATMAN v SUPERMAN. Accordingly, the part is his until we officially hear otherwise.
Nonetheless, there’s been TONS of “Is he in or out?” drama when it comes to Affleck’s Batman on film future for well over a year — and that’s excluding all the Affleck as THE BATMAN‘s director nonsense we had to deal with. Some reports suggested that Affleck wanted to walk, while others said that Warner Bros. was more than ready for him exit the Batcave. Based on what I’ve heard, I came to the conclusion that the feeling was mutual between two.
Thus, the Jake Gyllenhaal “thing.”
Here’s the deal folks: Director Matt Reeves wouldn’t have met with actors the caliber of Jake Gyllenhaal (and others, allegedly) — nor would they have met with him — if either party believed that the role still belonged to Ben Affleck. Furthermore, Affleck’s terrible, mailed-in performance in JUSTICE LEAGUE sure as hell didn’t make people think he was still interested in the role, or that Warner Bros. would want him to remain in it. Even if you’re the biggest Batfleck fan in the world, if you’re really honest with yourself, you KNOW he sucked in that film.
No matter who wanted it more — the actor or the studio — I 100% believe that Affleck was indeed gone and both parties operated accordingly. Then why the alleged change of heart(s)? Perhaps it was the old DC on film regime at Warner Bros. that wanted to move on from Affleck’s Batman, and the new DCOF people — led by Waler Hamada — wants to stay in the Batfleck business. Or maybe Affleck is in a better place both professionally and personally and would like the opportunity to redeem both himself and this — “The Batfleck” — version of Batman.
So, for the sake of argument — and the premise of this op-ed — let’s assume that Affleck is “back” and will reprise his role as Bruce Wayne and Batman in director Matt Reeves’ solo, standalone Batman film. Here goes…
More Batfleck? Nah, I’m not feeling it. Personally, I have absolutely ZERO interest in seeing anymore of the BATMAN v SUPERMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE Batman. I couldn’t care less about this Batman, I’m not emotionally invested, and I want him to go away. Keep in mind that I say this as someone who has long wanted him — as both and actor and writer/director — to be part of a Batman film project. No, I’d rather something fresh and new….something that’s going to get me excited and filled with anticipation. Frankly, I think it’s best for Affleck’s run as Batman to be over.
How’s that for a HBT (“Hot Batman Take”)?
With all that said, and if Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN is going to have Ben Affleck Bat-suit up again, I’ve got a few, ahem, demands…
- THE BATMAN needs to be a straight-up, 100% F’n Batman movie, period. No DC cameos, winks and nods, setting up other DC films (BATGIRL, NIGHTWING, Leto-Joker solo movie, etc.) and post-credits scenes. Enough with that BS!
- It’s time for a new Bat-Suit. I don’t care how how many fans love it because it’s “comic-book accurate.” Honestly, I liked the BvS suit — it was the JL tactical suit that sucked and made him look like the damn Michelin Man. It’s actually more about moving as far away as possible from BATMAN v SUPERMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE as possible.
- Not only is it time for a new Bat-Suit, but how about a new Batmobile as well? And Batcave. Wayne Manor too. I don’t care if they insinuated that the house will become the Hall of Justice — JUSTICE LEAGUE needs to be forgotten anyway. The guy’s a billionaire and can afford to have it rebuilt and rebuilt quickly. And ditch that lake house thing too!
- Ben Affleck’s performance MUST be more like the one in BATMAN v SUPERMAN (I don’t like the film, but at least Affleck was in Batman-shape, engaged, fired-up, and his portrayal showed it), than the crappy one he gave in JUSTICE LEAGUE. And don’t even try to tell me he was even “just OK” in JL because he was BAD. Don’t settle; demand BETTER.
- THE BATMAN needs to be “Frasiered” (If you want to know the origin of that phrase, watch Episode #23 of the BOF Vlog). In other words, conveniently “forget” about BvS and JL, and simply move forward. In other words, soft-reboot the thing.
RELATED: “Let Matt Reeves Do His Own Bat-Thing“
Yes, I’m asking a lot. Why? Because it’s going to take a lot to get me remotely excited for more Batfleck. And if I don’t give a damn — a lifelong Batman fan who was one Batfleck’s biggest supporters for years — why would the “non-fan audience?” If they didn’t show up for JUSTICE LEAGUE , why should anyone think — especially Warner Bros. — they’re going to show up for a solo Batman film starring Ben Affleck?
I’m I being harsh? Absolutely I am. It’s called “Old School BOF” and I care tremendously about Batman on film.
Of course, if Affleck doesn’t return, nevermind. – Bill “Jett” Ramey