While the Matt Reeves directed The Batman is out in theaters now, a solo Batman film that Ben Affleck would star in and direct was long in development. Most of the details of that movie were left in the air after plans fell apart. By 2017, Warner Bros. executives announced that the solo Ben Affleck Batman film was canceled. But it appears the pre-production had reached the point of finalizing the concept art for Affleck’s Bat-suit.
What does the leaked concept art of the unmade Ben Affleck solo Batman movie reveal? Check it out below.
Ben Affleck Batman film and concept art
As part of the developing DC Extended Universe (DCEU), a Batman film would have followed after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). One of the factors that helped convince Ben Affleck to take the Batman role was this future prospect of a solo project that he could both produce, direct, and star in with Zack Snyder as a co-producer.
The premise for this Batman film would take elements from the Arkham series of games developed by Rocksteady Studios. Featuring Affleck’s older Dark Knight Detective, the hero would be dealing with a murder mystery that would ultimately reveal that super-soldier and master assassin Deathstroke was the main antagonist. Deathstroke blamed Batman for an unspecified sin and was intent on punishing the vigilante. The movie would culminate in an action-packed showdown between the two.
Aside from Batman and Deathstroke, the film would have also included Catwoman. According to Zack Snyder, he would have cast Carla Gugino (Gunpowder Milkshake, Midnight Mass) in the role of Selina Kyle. The film would also likely have included Jeremy Irons and J.K. Simmons, returning as Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon, respectively. The plot would also explore the past of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne and how he became more jaded which was hinted at in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice after the death of Robin.
— IGN (@IGN) November 14, 2020
When Batman V Superman and the Joss Whedon version of Justice League (2017) did not meet box office expectations, the planned solo Batman movie experienced multiple delays. In between, Matt Reeves (Planet of the Apes) was hired to direct though Affleck was still set to star. However, Reeves and DC Entertainment executives decided to go with a reboot, disconnecting the film from any previous DCEU connections and to cast a younger actor.
By 2019, Ben Affleck confirmed he was no longer going to star. The original and revised script was scrapped and Reeves started a new script from scratch.
Concept artist Keith Christensen recently shared on his social media accounts the re-imagined Batsuit that Affleck would have sported in the canceled project. Christensen stated these were the designs before the directorial and starring roles were shifted. Christensen explained the design sense behind the concept art:
Tried to design a consistent, modular, functional suit made from ballistic materials. Suit was designed when Ben A was directing and starring in #thebatman.
He later continued by elaborating the ideas behind revamping the cowl and the gloves for the Batsuit:
What if the 'helmet' component articulated to get it on and off? Contact points on the undercowl could connect with the tech inside the hard shell. Could have been cool... I thought it would be practical if he could retract the fin/blades on the gloves. The double teeth on the knuckles would add traction to straight punch and backfist strikes. Had so much fun on this. So crazy that it's been five years since I did these.
The overall design of what could have been Ben Affleck’s new Batsuit is sleeker, with some similarities to the second one Christian Bale wore in The Dark Knight. It also has a more tactical feel to it, but with smoother, more rounded angles. Plus, the suit’s color is more of a charcoal black than the gray and black of the previous suits Affleck previously wore.
Fans want Affleck back
The fans of Ben Affleck’s take on the Dark Knight were both happy to see the Bat-suit designs, but are disappointed they may never see it in action. Many are calling out for Warner Bros. to finish the abruptly suspended solo film:
Thanks to @GhostAssassin02 for showing us!
What do you guys think of that cowl? pic.twitter.com/q1RhRqrHIj
— The Batfleck Movie #MakeTheBatfleckMovie (@BatfleckMovie) March 13, 2022
All of this concept art means one of three things:
1) They’re hyping up Ben’s return to the DCEU for the long haul
2) They’re utterly done so the concept art doesn’t need to be a secret
— Dutch in the Jungle (@TopMorbiusFan) March 13, 2022
And that’s not all. It appears Christensen also finished the concept art for Deathstroke. The role would have been filled by fan-favorite Joe Manganiello, who also appeared as Slade Wilson in both the Joss Whedon and Zack Snyder versions of Justice League during the end credits scenes.
— 𝗚𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝘁 of SnyderVerse (@Itssan17) March 14, 2022
Will we see this Batsuit in action?
In an earlier news report, Ben Affleck had apparently changed his mind about retiring the cape and cowl. The Oscar winner is now open to reprising the role beyond his upcoming appearance with fellow Batman veteran Michael Keaton in The Flash.
Coincidentally, Sam Raimi expressed his interest in directing a Batman film if the opportunity arises. Would you like to see the abruptly canceled Batman movie headlined by Ben Affleck continue under Sam Raimi’s direction?
Sam Raimi wants to make a #Batman movie.
“I’ve always loved Batman. If I ever saw the Bat-Signal up in the air, I’d come running”.
— One Take News (@OneTakeNews) March 14, 2022
Matt Reeves’s The Batman is currently showing in theaters. And you can catch Ben Affleck’s Batman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League on the HBO Max streaming service.