Ben Affleck is training hard, allegedly so he can play The Batman one more time. Cast as the Caped Crusader back in 2013, Affleck’s time in the cape and cowl has been a roller coaster to say the least. While fans (even those most skeptical of Affleck) generally agree his performances as Bruce Wayne/Batman are a highlight, the movies around him have been underwhelming. Things reached a tipping point in the aftermath of Justice League, a box office disaster that essentially derailed the entire DC Extended Universe. Superman himself, Henry Cavill, is said to be out now that he’s doing Netflix’s The Witcher.
Affleck’s future as Batman has been the topic of much speculation for a while now. At one point, he was going to write and direct a solo film for the character, but passes those duties to Matt Reeves, who’s been working on his own screenplay ever since. Viewers remain convinced Affleck is done as Batman, especially since Reeves’ film is rumored to star someone who’s 15-20 years Affleck’s junior. However, Affleck may have his sights set on portraying Batman for at least one more film, if the latest is to be believed.
According to Hollywood Life, an unnamed source “close to the actor/director” claims Affleck’s renewed commitment to getting back into top physical shape stems from his desire to play Batman:
“He is back in shape not only for his health but he has a new-found love on doing Batman at least one more time again. He feels he isn’t finished with what he wants to do with the character. There has been talk about replacing him, but he is now seeing what he might lose and really wants to play the character again. Especially seeing what Joaquin Phoenix is doing with the Joker character.”
While it’s plausible at first glance for Affleck’s training regimen to be related to a Batman film, there are a number of reasons why he’d be working out. Affleck simply could be looking to better his personal health, and he has other projects on his plate. In particular, he’s reuniting with his Accountant director Gavin O’Connor for the sports drama Torrance (formerly known as The Has Been), where Affleck plays a former basketball star attempting to become a coach. That film reportedly starts shooting in the near future, and it would make sense for Affleck to have an athlete’s physique for his role. It’s also worth mentioning The Batman isn’t expected to begin principal photography until next summer, so it’s arguably a little early for Affleck (or anyone, really) to be training specifically for a Batman movie.
Fans are desperate for some clarity on the situation, and hopefully the matter is resolved soon. For what it’s worth, Affleck is still attached to The Batman as a producer, suggesting he plans to stay involved in some capacity. Some have theorized that Reeves’ film could be a DCEU prequel that covers Bruce’s younger years fighting crime, with Affleck bookending the main story via narration (so he’s in the film, but not starring in it). It remains to be seen what will happen with The Batman, though it would be nice to see Affleck get one more crack at it – ideally participating in a film that earns widespread praise. At this point, that seems unlikely, but surprises can be known to happen.
KEY RELEASE DATES
Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
Birds of Prey (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020