Going into comic-con this year, the future for Ben Affleck in the DC Extended Universe seemed dark. There were reports on how Affleck was disappointed with the direction Warner Bros. was heading. We heard about how director Matt Reeves of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ fame had taken over the new Batman film and wanted to start from scratch. They said ‘Justice League’ would be his last time in the cowl. Although, given how good we’ve become at CGI in a post-Cavillstache world, maybe they were going to replace him in that film as well. But as a great District Attorney once said, “the night is darkest just before the dawn”, because this we have news that Ben Affleck has signed on for a new Batman Trilogy and a potential future Batman Beyond film.
It’s previously been mentioned that Reeves has his own planned trilogy in mind for the caped crusader, but the question was whether Affleck would be on board for them? While he was one of the few bright spots in the one-two critical massacre that was ‘BvS: Dawn of Justice’ & ‘Suicide Squad’, he seemed too often to be having ‘Gigli’ flashbacks when confronted the fact that he wasn’t making movies people liked anymore. That could all be behind us now as Batman is now in the very capable hands of Reeves (Cloverfield, Let Me In), and Affleck can hopefully enjoy promotion and press interviews that don’t make him a human meme anymore. He’s just got to get through November.
Also worth noting the hope to keep Affleck on for future Batman Beyond films. I personally never watched the cartoon much growing up as I had just aged out of the Batman animated series when Beyond was starting, but there’s not denying its large and ardent fanbase. These sound like films that could throw an old Bruce Wayne and a new Batman into a future Gotham straight out of ‘Blade Runner’. In the right hands, that’s a very fun and exciting premise.
The only thing that gives me pause in all this happy news (full disclosure: I have always, and will always be Team Affleck. He was the bomb in ‘Phantoms’.) is Warner already hyping Ben Affleck bringing in the next generation of heroes into the DCEU in 20??. This studio loves putting the cart before the horse, they’ve made one successful beloved film with ‘Wonder Woman’ and they’re ready to go full James Cameron on us.