OPINION: 6 THE BATMAN/Ben Affleck/DCEU Batman Scenarios Posted by: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: September 4, 2017
Oh, the drama surrounding Ben Affleck and his future as WB’s cinematic Batman, right?
Yes, I know what some of y’all are saying, OK? “Ben Affleck 'confirmed' he was going to keep on playing Batman at San Diego Comic Con!”
One, that’s not what actually came out of his mouth. He said – and I’m paraphrasing – that he is still contracted for one film and would love to continue to play Batman if they (Warner Bros. and Matt Reeves) want him. Secondly, it’s the only possible thing he could say. JUSTICE LEAGUE was still four months out at the time and was simply protecting his employer’s multi-million dollar investment.
I said it then and I’ll say it again: What he said at SDCC ’17 about this Batman future means nothing either way. And no, he’s not a liar at all – he’s a smart businessman.
(Let me let you in on a little secret, OK? Actors and filmmakers do this ALL THE TIME. It's part of the business and they HAVE TO DO IT. Don't take 'em at face value and don't hold it against them if something they say doesn't come to pass. Just sayin'.)
Let’s be frank and honest, shall we? There’s something going on when it comes to Ben Affleck and his future as Warner’s Batman on film. Maybe Ben wants out. Perhaps WB wants Ben gone. Or it could be a situation where both sides are ready to part ways amicably. Regardless, there’s no way that there’s been this much smoke for this long of a period of time and not be fire. Moving on…
When it’s all said and done, what’s going to happen with Ben Affleck, Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN, and Batman in the DCEU post-JUSTICE LEAGUE? The way I see it, there are 6 possible ways this thing ultimately plays out. And of course, only one of them will come to fruition. Here goes…
1) Ben Stays/Older Batman/Post-JUSTICE LEAGUE
Matt Reeves decides that his vision of Batman jibes with what was established in BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE. Reeves’ THE BATMAN features an older Batman played by Ben Affleck, set after the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE, and is a standalone film, but “officially” part of the DCEU.
2) Ben Leaves/Older Batman/Post-JUSTICE LEAGUE
Same thing as the previous situation, but Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. pull a BATMAN FOREVER and recast the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in THE BATMAN. ODDS: UNLIKELY
3) Prequel/Ben Leaves
We all know that the BvS Batman has been Batmanning in Gotham for 20 years. That’s 20 years of DCEU Batman history that can be mined and turned into films. What’s also appealing about this possibility is that Reeves can cast his own lead actor and THE BATMAN can technically be part of the DCEU. However, it being set way before the events of MAN OF STEEL and BvS, there’s not really a DCEU to be a part of. That would allow Matt Reeves to do what he wants to do without the constraints of continuity (for the most part), and all involved can say it is part of a “shared universe.” The only down side I see with doing prequels is that we know how the story ends – Bruce Wayne becomes a burned-out, pill-popping, boozing, killer Batman by his mid-40s.
ODDS: VERY POSSIBLE
4) Prequel/Ben Stays
Same thing as above, but instead of recasting, Ben Affleck plays his BvS/JL Batman – albeit 10, 12 or 15 years “younger.” Yes, I know that Ben Affleck is in his mid-40s, but when the dude’s in shape, he’s in shape. So he definitely could play a 30-ish, in-his-prime Batman.
ODDS: VERY UNLIKELY
5) THE BATMAN Is Its Own Thing/Not DCEU/Ben Goes
When Matt Reeves signed-on to direct a solo Batman film for Warner Bros., both sides agreed that he would be able to do what he wanted to do, and make the film he wanted to make. Since then, he has thrown out the original script and started from scratch. Then he said the following about why he took the gig…
“Well I have a vision for a way to do something with that character [Batman] that feels like it resonates with me personally, and a perspective that can grow out into other things. When they [Warner Bros.] approached me, what they said was ‘look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.’”
One, he’s never once said that Ben Affleck was definitely his Batman (all he’s said when asked was, “Right now, that’s the plan”). Secondly, it’s pretty clear in these tweets that his Batman film is going to be HIS Batman film and he’s not going to include cameos from other DC characters or help set up other DC films. Sure, he said: “Of COURSE Batman will be part of the D.C. Universe,” but isn’t all Batman films part of the DC Universe – even THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY? ANYWAY…
Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN is its own thing, it’s a “DC Film” but not part of the DCEU, and Reeves casts his own Batman.
6) Two Batmen (Batmans?) On Film
Finally, this scenario is the same as above, but Ben Affleck stays on as the “DCEU Batman” when needed in potential cameos and/or team-up films.
ODDS: NO WAY IN HELL
There you have it folks, 6 (kinda) scenarios for the future of Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN and Batfleck too.
What do I want to happen? Give me scenario #1 with Ben Affleck returning as the old and grizzled veteran Batman (who no longer murders people). If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I like Ben as Batman and I want him to return. BUT…
What do I think will ultimately happen? I believe that scenario #5 is the most realistic outcome.
Which one do you think will happen? Which one do you want to happen? Vote in the poll above and post your thoughts in the comments section below! - Bill "Jett" Ramey