With the news that Ben Affleck will no longer direct The Batman, there is plenty of speculation as to what will happen next. We know that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, will take over directorial duties, and we also know that Joe Manganiello will be playing Deathstroke in the film. Beyond that, there isn’t a lot that is known about this upcoming DCEU film.
With the DCEU in a state of constant peril, it will be up to Wonder Woman and Justice League to right the ship. If those movies are critical failures and box office under-performers like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, then the whole DC cinematic universe could be overhauled. Ben Affleck is a huge Batman fan, and the one glimmer of hope in this huge mess was that he could make a great Batman film. After all, he is one of the best directors in Hollywood today. Now that Ben Affleck has stepped aside and handed over the director’s chair to Matt Reeves, there have been rumors circulating that he will drop out of the picture entirely.
What does Ben Affleck really have to gain by staying on as Batman? He might just leave after the Justice League films. It would be a lot easier and actually make a lot of sense for a number of reasons. Here’s a look at 15 reasons why Ben Affleck will drop out of playing Batman.
15 The DCEU Movies Are Terrible
The MCU is the pinnacle of genre filmmaking and the work that Kevin Feige, Jon Favreau, James Gunn, the Russo brothers and Joss Whedon have done has been spectacular. Even the worst MCU films are still merely average at worst. The DCEU on the other hand is nothing like that. Every DCEU film has been universally hated by critics and even a lot of fans – except for hardcore DCEU fanboys. Warner Bros. simply thought they could throw a bunch of characters together without having the buildup like Marvel did, and it didn’t work.
Ben Affleck is certainly not happy with the way Batman v Superman turned out. It was supposed to be amazing, but it turned out to be a convoluted mess. His reputation as an actor is damaged thanks to his terrible portrayal of Batman. It’s not his fault because he didn’t have much to work with, and it wasn’t his choice to have Batman murder everyone. Still, his version of Batman is nothing compared to Bale or Keaton's. It might be better for Affleck to cut his losses and get out before the movies get even worse.
14 Too Much Pressure
You can tell during the press interviews and junkets for Batman v Superman that the role had already taken its toll on Ben Affleck. Sadfleck became a meme after an interviewer asked him about the movie’s terrible reviews. Him dropping out of the director’s seat probably had a lot to do with the enormous amount of pressure he was under. Will he be able to make a Batman movie that’s as good as Argo and The Town? How could he possibly make a Batman movie as well as Christopher Nolan? Making a great Batman movie is really hard work, and even Christopher Nolan made a crappy one. The tremendous stress Affleck would have in the director’s seat makes it understandable he dropped out. While starring as Batman doesn’t hold nearly the same amount of pressure, it’s still something that will continue to take its toll on Affleck. Because of the pressure, he might drop the role entirely.
13 Batman Could Damage His Reputation
Ben Affleck’s terrible turn as Batman in Batman v Superman and his forgettable cameo in Suicide Squad certainly damaged his reputation as a great actor, but he is still known as a great actor thanks to work in his own movies like Argo and The Town, as well as in other movies like the David Fincher directed movie, Gone Girl. Let’s not forget that Affleck’s career was once in the crapper because of movies like Gigli and Daredevil.
He worked extremely hard and made a phenomenal comeback, but after Batman v Superman his reputation was tarnished. He won’t want to go back to the way things were in the early aughts. His reputation as a director is still in tact, but after the bomb that was Live by Night, Affleck seriously had to consider if he wanted to direct the Batman. If that turned out to be a mess like his movie Live by Night then all the goodwill he earned directing The Town and Argo would be gone. He can still afford a few missteps acting wise, so he hasn’t left the Batman role yet. However, after a few more terrible turns as the Dark Knight he may be considering dropping out as playing the Batman, too. He wouldn’t want his reputation to be destroyed.
12 His Personal Life Is In Shambles
Forget about all the stress, pressure and bad luck Affleck has had in Hollywood as of late. His professional life is in shambles, but his personal life isn’t much better. After multiple cheating scandals rocked the tabloids, it really looked like Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were going to split last year. Surprisingly they decided to try and work things out. They are separated, but they didn’t end up getting a divorce. This certainly seems like a stay together for the kids scenario, and a hectic schedule filming multiple big budget blockbusters back to back couldn’t have made dealing with the hardships of his relationship with his wife any easier.
He likely decided to drop out of directing The Batman so he could have more time with his wife and kids, but what if the relationship hardships continue? Could the two end up splitting after all? For now it seems like things are stable, but if things take a turn for the worse then Affleck might drop the Batman role entirely to focus more on his personal life.
11 He Doesn’t Have Enough Control
Ben Affleck is the kind of director who prides himself in making a movie from the ground up. The Oscar he won for co-writing Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon shows that he is multi-talented, so when he makes a film he likes to have his fingers in all the pies. Writing, acting directing – he does it all. When he is doing all of these things it means he has complete creative control. He was in charge of The Town. The result was a masterpiece, and one of the best crime movies of all time. He was in charge of Argo and the result was a best picture win at the Oscars. Do you think he will have that kind of creative control with The Batman? Not a chance.
Warner Bros. just loves to interfere, and that’s a big reason why the DCEU movies are unwatchable. If David Ayer was just allowed to make the movie he wanted maybe Suicide Squad wouldn’t have been a total trainwreck and the worst movie of 2016. Ben Affleck didn’t want to direct The Batman because he likely wouldn’t have complete creative control. He might drop out as an actor in the film for the same reason.
10 He Wants To Work On His Own Projects
Ben Affleck desperately wants to make his own movies again. It is obvious he misses creating masterpieces like Argo, and he would much rather make his own film than act in another disaster by Zack Snyder. After Live by Night flopped he is even more eager to get back in the director’s chair again and make something he is truly passionate about. He’s simply not as passionate about The Batman as he is about whatever secret project he has lined up next. If the DCEU keeps him away from making his own original movies for too long he might just quit all together so he can get back to doing what he is best at and what he loves the most – making Oscar worthy cinematic masterpieces.
9 The Entire DCEU May Be Rebooted Soon
There are a lot of reasons why Ben Affleck might quit being Batman, but there is one reason that many of you probably overlooked, and it has nothing to do with Ben Affleck at all. What if Justice League barely makes it past $700 million worldwide at the box office? What if Wonder Woman scores a measly 15% on Rotten Tomatoes? The chance of either of these happening is extremely high based on the returns of Batman v Superman and the rumors of a troubled production on Wonder Woman – the boring and dull trailers haven’t helped much to squash those rumors. If things keep heading down the road they have been going then Warner Bros. may scrap the entire thing, and that means everyone will be recast and the DC cinematic universe will be rebooted entirely.
8 The DCEU Movies Suck At The Box Office
Ben Affleck’s fate as star of The Batman depends a lot on how the upcoming DCEU films perform at the box office. Batman v Superman was expected to make as much as the Avengers movies, but it fell well short of that goal. Suicide Squad did fairly well considering its lowers price tag, but it still didn’t break many records. The true test of whether Affleck will want to continue on as the Batman will come down to how well Justice League does. Justice League really has its work cut out for it. It’s sandwiched right in between Thor Ragnarok and Star Wars The Last Jedi, so it only has a few weeks to pass the billion dollar mark. The competition may be too much for it, and it will only make over a billion if it’s good. Right now that’s looking unlikely. Affleck won’t want to be a part of a franchise that isn’t living up to expectations at the box office. Less money for the studio means less money for him too because he likely has a cut of the back end of many of these movies.
7 Booze And Rehab
Ben Affleck is not only having family problems, but he’s fighting an uphill battle against alcoholism. He just announced that he recently completed a stay in a rehab facility to fight his alcoholism, but this isn’t the first time he has waged a war against his inner demons and the lure of the bottle. He attended rehab in 2001 as well. While his recent struggles are no indication that he will drop out of playing Batman, he could easily decided that continuing on playing Bruce Wayne could be detrimental to his health. He doesn’t want to end up a boozehound like the Bruce Wayne from Batman v Superman. If he has to focus on getting better he likely won’t have time to play the caped crusader.
6 Too Many Delays
Shouldn’t The Batman have come out already? It’s been five years already since the last solo Batman movie, and the wait for a new Batman movie seems like forever. At this rate the movie likely won’t come out until 2019 at the earliest. It keeps getting pushed back and Warner Bros. keeps announcing new DCEU movies instead. There is supposed to be a Nightwing movie and a Gotham City Sirens movie, and there’s a good chance both of those will be on digital and blu-ray before we see a solo Batman movie in theatres. The longer this movie keeps getting delayed the higher the chance Affleck will drop out completely, or that it won’t even be made at all.
5 He Won A Razzie
Ben Affleck has won multiple Oscars, but he also just took home a Razzie award for playing Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He will want to choose his next role wisely, and hopefully it will be something Oscar worthy. He won’t win an Oscar playing Batman, but he could certainly win another Razzie award playing the World’s Greatest Detective. He has joined a long list of Oscar winners who have also won Razzies, including Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Costner. This is not Ben's first Razzie, however. Affleck has won five in total. Four from different films over the years, and in 2010 he won an "honorary" Razzie for Worst Actor of the Decade.
4 WB Might Boot Affleck For Hammer
There has been rumors circulating that Armie Hammer might join the DCEU. It was believed that he might be playing Green Lantern, but some sources believe he might actually be gearing up to play the Batman. How is this possible if Ben Affleck already has the part? Well, Armie Hammer was actually cast as Batman in the past. He was going to star as Batman in a Justice League movie that was going to be directed by Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller. With Miller rumored to be directing an upcoming DCEU film, could both Hammer and Miller reteam? Warner Bros will be quick to recast, and if there are rumors they already have someone in the wings, then Affleck really might be out.
3 Inaccuracies Of Current Version
Affleck dreamed of being Batman, but he probably wanted to play a quintessential version of the character – a brooding crime fighter and tortured soul who protects the streets but still upholds the law. He wanted to be the world’s greatest detective, not a homicidal maniac who can barely do anything for himself. The version of Batman in the DCEU is about as far away from an accurate portrayal of the Dark Knight as Adam West’s campy dancing version. At least the Adam West Batman was fun and entertaining. Will Affleck really want to continue playing Batman when the version he is playing is barely Batman at all?
2 Too Physically Demanding
Ben Affleck has more to worry about when it comes to his health than alcoholism. Being Batman takes tons of work to physically prepare. The work out and constant weightlifting may simply be too much for him at his age. He could easily pull a muscle or worse, so he might not want to risk it - especially for a movie that could very well be lackluster. A nice dramatic role would be much less physically demanding, and he wouldn’t have to worry about bench pressing 400 pounds on a regular basis. There are plenty of photos of Ben in the media showing that he seems to prefer the "dad bod" (right) over the chiseled superhero physique (left).
1 He’s Too Good Of An Actor
Affleck is actually a really good actor. It’s his directing abilities that have been praised in recent years, but he has the acting chops too. Did it ever occur to you that maybe he was simply too good to be in a comic book movie – even if it’s a good one? We are seeing plenty of world-class actors take on comic book roles. Michael Keaton was Batman and now he’s playing the Vulture. Christian Bale is an Oscar winner. Tilda Swinton was the Ancient One in Dr. Strange. Jennifer Lawrence is Mystique, and Marlon Brando was Jor-el. These are some of the greatest actors of all time and they have either won Academy awards or been nominated multiple times. However, the absolute best of the best haven’t starred in any comic book movies and likely never will. Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day Lewis, arguably the two best actors of all time, have never been in a superhero movie. Perhaps Ben Affleck has more in common with these two that any other Oscar winner who played a comic book character. Maybe he is simply too good of an actor to star in a pulpy popcorn flick – and superhero movies are still just that. As good as The Dark Knight, Civil War and Logan are, they will never be Seven Samurai or Taxi Driver.
Sources: NYPost, DailyMail, CosmicBookNews