In the comics, there’s pretty much nothing that could get Batman to stop his caped crusade against crime and evil. In the real world, though, current Batman actor Ben Affleck might want to quit. There’s a rumor going around that Affleck — who already stepped down from directing the standalone Batman movie — really, really doesn’t want to be Batman anymore. But, although it’s a fairly believable story, given the sorry state of the DC Extended Universe, the rumor that Affleck wants to bounce is just a rumor (for now, at least).
The talk of Batfleck abandoning his post started on an episode of Collider Movie Talk when John Campea mentioned that “multiple” unnamed sources close to Warner Bros. said that the 44-year-old actor was ready to hang up the cape.
“Ben Affleck, make no mistake, he does want out. He doesn’t want to be Batman anymore,” Campea said. “I have been told that Affleck is talking with Warner Bros. in an attempt to get out of being Batman, and if they do not let him out of being Batman that the standalone Batman film that ultimately happens will be the last time we see Affleck as Batman,” he continued.
This is, of course, a juicy bit of superhero schadenfreude. Although Affleck wasn’t half bad as Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the movie was a critical flop. As written, Affleck’s Batman was an aging, easily duped and uncharacteristically violent vigilante. The character was serious, but not smart, despite Affleck’s charm. Meanwhile, all the news about the upcoming DC films seems like it’s pretty bad. The Flash is hemorrhaging directors, there’s foreboding chatter about Wonder Woman, and other DC actors are talking shit about their own franchise.
It’s not crazy to think that Affleck might want to get off what looks, from the outside, like a sinking ship. Things could very well seem even worse on the inside, knowing everything Affleck knows. Affleck directed and starred in Argo, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Maybe dressing up as a bat a much-maligned franchise isn’t the best use of his time?
However, don’t start fan-casting Justice League just yet. Affleck is signed to the two Justice League films thanks to his contract. Getting out of that is a big deal. And Campea, the guy who started all this with his on-background comments, explicitly said we should take the rumor with “a grain of salt.”
At the very least, we shouldn’t confuse wanting to quit with trying to quit. Affleck could just power through The Batman and the Justice Leagues, collect his massive checks, and walk away.
Still, you can’t help but feel bad for the guy. First Daredevil and now this?