For many, being cast in a central role in either the DC Extended Universe or the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a dream come true. Such was the case for Ben Affleck, who was the latest actor to put on the cape and cowl as Bruce Wayne and Batman in the DC Extended Universe. Unfortunately, Affleck would later decide to leave the role after just a few films. Now, we finally know the reason behind Affleck's "baffling" decision.
Why did Ben Affleck step down from Batman?
The consensus is that Warner Bros. never gave Ben Affleck a fair shot at playing the caped crusader in the DC Extended Universe.
Affleck first appeared as Batman in 2016's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice by Zack Snyder. The critically panned film featured a battered and broken Bruce Wayne who'd seen far too many tragedies fighting crime. Unfortunately, this didn't leave a good impression among fans who felt that Affleck's Batman was far too brutal and nonchalant with murder. Joss Whedon's Justice League back in 2017 was even worse as it constantly switched between a grittier and a wise-cracking Batman.
2021's Zack Snyder's Justice League was a bit better. Affleck's portrayal of Batman in the "remake" was more in line with his previous characterization. But, even though fans finally "accepted" Affleck's Batman it appears that the Hollywood actor is done with the character already.
According to Affleck during a lengthy interview for Entertainment Weekly with Matt Damon, Affleck realized that he just wasn't having fun shooting Justice League and playing the role of Batman anymore. Affleck described having a "really nadir experience around Justice League for a lot of different reasons," saying that he "wasn't happy" and that he "didn't like being there." After realizing that the role was no longer interesting for him, Affleck decided that he wasn't going to do it anymore.
Later on in the interview, Affleck clarified that it was a conversation that he had with Damon that helped him move on.
Affleck referred to his longtime collaborator as a "principle influence" and that he now wants to do things that would make him happy. He compared shooting Justice League with Last Duel, which he starred together in with Damon. Affleck says that he had "fun every day" on the set of the movie even though his character wasn't likable at all.
TLDR; Affleck was no longer happy with the role, which means we'll never get to see a solo Batfleck movie, ever.
The good news is that Affleck still has one more Batman appearance left. Affleck is set to reprise his role for what could be the final time in The Flash on November 4, 2022. After that, who knows? Maybe he'll still be around to cameo for a movie or two in future DCEU movies? Either way, we're hoping that the Ezra Miller-led movie gives Batfleck the sendoff he deserves.
In other DCEU news, Ezra Miller recently spoke against the rumors that The Flash's solo outing will reboot the entire DCEU. Meanwhile, with Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck now out of the DCEU, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson appears to be positioning himself as a suitable replacement as an anchor for the cinematic universe. Johnson is set to make his cinematic debut as the titular anti-hero in Black Adam on July 29, 2022.