Affleck has been Warner Bros.' (WB) Batman/Bruce Wayne since 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, the actor's future in the role has been in question as of late with Robert Pattinson taking on the mantle in The Batman, which exists in a universe outside of the DCEU continuity of Dawn of Justice.
Rumor has been that Batman (1989) actor Michael Keaton would actually take over as WB's in-universe Caped Crusader after the events of The Flash. However, Affleck himself shook that up after he posed with Aquaman star Jason Mamoa, revealing "[it wasn't] a f***ing secret anymore" that his Bruce Wayne would appear in next year's Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
That paired with speculation of the actor signing on for a Crisis on Infinite Earths movie, has led some to wonder whether Affleck is really hanging up the cape and cowl.
Well, a new announcement from Affleck may put all of that into question, making it finally seem like he is done with Batman for good.
Ben Putting an End to Bat-Fleck?
A new announcement from Ben Affleck has possibly indicated that he is done with the role of Batman.
As shared by The New York Times (NYT), Affleck, along with his long-time writing partner and close friend Matt Damon, announced that they are starting their own production company. The independent production company, named Artists Equity, would be a ground-breaking venture for Hollywood, one in which actors and off-camera staff share profits of the films they work on.
The DCU star has agreed to work exclusively with Artists Equity, saying "this is the next act of my career for a long, long time."
Of the first-of-its-kind production company, Affleck said:
“I know what kind of freedoms artists long for and how they can be empowered — treated like grown-ups.”
The Hollywood veteran noted that he naively thought "these studio guys sit behind desks" all day, while it is the artists who "do all the work:"
“And there was part of me, I have to admit, that was like — come on, these studio guys sit behind desks and make phone calls. The artists are the ones who have to go off and actually make the movie and do all the work.”
But he is finding out that it is "a lot of work" running something like Artists Equity, and has been "humbled" a couple of times in the new position. However, he remarked that his only regret is "[not having] the sense of self to try this earlier:"
“But my only regret is that I didn’t have the sense of self to try this earlier. Now I feel very ready to do it. I’m right at that period of life where you have enough experience and confidence and self-assuredness.”
Is Ben Affleck Really Done with Batman?
While no one, especially in these comic book universes, is really ever 100% gone, it is certainly feeling like Ben Affleck's time as Batman is officially finished. Yes, there are still a couple of appearances for his character to make (in The Flash and Aquaman 2), but as the DCU changes hands, it seems like Affleck's Caped Crusader will be one of the casualties.
There have been talks that even after the supposed universe reset of next year's The Flash, plans that "involved [Ben Affleck’s] Batman” were being still being talked about. This puts all of that into question.
As noted above, this news means that Ben Affleck will be working exclusively with Artists Equity. Of course, there is always the chance that Warner Bros. could bring the company in to work with the actor on a Batman project, but with its innovative pay model, a mega-studio like WB may be against giving up that much profit-wise on the back end.
So, it seems that the Bat-Fleck ship has finally sailed after years of false starts and rampant speculation. The actor leaves behind a complicated legacy as the character. One in which some would say audiences never really got to see the best of.
Ben Affleck can be seen as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League, and Zack Snyder's Justice League, all streaming on HBO Max now.