When it comes to Batman, Ben Affleck is seemingly sure of only one thing: He doesn’t know what he’s going to do about Batman.
Perhaps emblematic of Warner Bros.’ struggling DC Cinematic Universe, the acclaimed filmmaker and actor has grappled with his relationship to the Dark Knight, and the intense spotlight that accompanies the iconic superhero, virtually from the moment in 2013 when he was cast in the film that would become Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
That connection was further strained by negative reviews for the Zack Snyder film, quickly followed by Warner Bros.’ perhaps-premature 2016 announcement that Affleck would co-write, direct and star in a Batman solo feature. That began months-long roller coaster that ended in January with the Oscar winner stepping aside as director, and his successor, Matt Reeves, scrapping his script. That was followed by nearly a year of persistent rumors that Affleck is growing tired of the cape and cowl, an assertion denied repeatedly by the actor and the studio, with decreasing plausibility.
Affleck himself returned to the subject in a new interview in which he cast further doubt on whether he’ll return as Bruce Wayne following Justice League (“I always evaluate this stuff on the merit of the material”), and revealed he still wants to direct a Batman film.
With the addition of this latest wrinkle, we look back at Affleck long, twisting history of playing and directing — and not playing and not directing — Batman.
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