If next year is the last of his run, Robert Downey Jr. will have portrayed Tony Stark ten times (counting a brief cameo in The Incredible Hulk). This gifted thespian has devoted over a decade to ripping an iconic comic book character off the page and putting him on screen, throwing himself into it each time. When Marvel can boast about that level of commitment from most of their actors, DC’s greatest predicament seems to be stemming from the actor playing their flagship character. Yes, Ben Affleck seems to once again be leaving Matt Reeves high and dry, forcing the filmmaker to be reboot the character with a younger incarnation.
The story stems from a comprehensive assessment of the utter chaos surrounding the state of the DCEU from The Hollywood Reporter. Among the chaos is a brief interlude about Reeves’ film, which states that he turned in the first draft of his screenplay over Memorial Day weekend, which centers around a younger Batman. While it’s possible that Reeves is intertwining the story of a younger Batman with a premature swan song for Affleck, it seems much more probable that Affleck is simply done playing the character.
I was thrilled about Affleck’s induction into the DC Universe when it was announced. He has the right screen presence for Batman and is a ferociously talented director. Unfortunately, after a full throttle turn in the misguided Batman V Superman and a failed attempt at helming this project, Affleck seems to have abandoned all investment in the character. His performance in last year’s Justice League was depressing to witness, appearing physically ill every time he donned the bat suit.
It’s time for Affleck to exit so that Reeves can take a younger, more invested actor and run with him. The Batman universe is rife with potential but it will only work if our Batman…wants to be Batman.
Or we can just keep making Wonder Woman movies. That works too.