Yesterday, rumors surfaced that actor Armie Hammer was in final negotiations to replace Ben Affleck as a younger Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves' planned Batman solo film. This marks the second time Hammer has publicly been linked to the DC superhero, after having actually been cast in George Miller's cancelled Justice League: Mortal as the Caped Crusader.
However, while the actor would probably make a great addition to the DC Extended Universe, several writers across the entertainment industry almost immediately debunked the rumors including Umberto Gonzalez from TheWrap, Justin Kroll from Variety and Borys Kit from The Hollywood Reporter. Kit noted that casting meetings officially approaching actors for the lead role hadn't even begun yet, while Kroll hinted that there will potentially be news to come this week regarding the eagerly anticipated project, though likely none involving casting the title role.
Hammer himself addressed the rumor the following day, claiming he has not even been approached for the role, confirming the earlier statements by the various entertainment writers that casting discussions for Afleck's replacement haven't even begun in earnest.
Ever since Reeves replaced Affleck to write and direct a solo Batman movie for Warner Bros., there have been persistent rumors linking different actors to the part, including Twilight star Robert Pattinson, future Marvel Cinematic Universe villain Jake Gyllenhaal, Mad Men actor Jon Hamm and Unbroken star Jack O'Connell. And while Warner Bros. is rumored to be looking for "a familiar face" to replace Affleck, within days of each of these rumors surfacing, they all have been soundly debunked, thus continuing the mystery of who will star as the latest cinematic Batman.
In the case of most of these rumors being proven false, it comes down to age. Reeves is reportedly looking for a younger actor as his Bruce Wayne, showing the more inexperienced Batman at the start of his superhero career rather than Affleck's world-weary, older Dark Knight, having grown more cynical and lethal in his vigilante activities after decades of fighting crime. While Hammer is significantly younger than Affleck, Hamm and Gyllenhaal, at 32, he still does not quite have the fresh-faced quality Reeves is reportedly be looking for in his incarnation of Gotham City's protector.
As for the production itself, Reeves has confirmed the start of the principal photography is expected to begin before the end of the year as he polishes the film's script with another quick rewrite. In terms of casting, Reeves this past month mentioned that casting for the film's villains would begin soon, indicating that the studio is taking more time and consideration in selecting its star actor, which is completely logical given the level of expectation for one of the most iconic roles in modern fiction.
While Armie Hammer is not necessarily out of the running to replace Ben Affleck as Batman, he is not officially under consideration, either. This is another false rumor in a long line of them dating back to Matt Reeves first taking over as the writer and director of the solo Batman film two years ago. The only official news that has been confirmed since the project has continued under Reeves' guidance is that Affleck will not reprise his role as Bruce Wayne, and that came after months and months of speculation surrounding his return following Justice League. The bottom line is, while anticipation builds over the future casting, the studio has not officially begun the search for a new Batman... yet.
The Batman is written and directed by Matt Reeves. It is scheduled to be released on June 25, 2021.