The Ben Affleck Rumor Roundup
So, here they are. The major rumors surrounding WB and DC's (mostly) financial successful but (definitely) critically panned Snyderverse series of films. I fully admit to hating the Snyderverse style, from the depressing imagery to the lack of understanding of the fundamentals of Superman and Batman. But there was one bright spot in the dreary, overwhelming darkness... Ben Affleck's Batman. But, is he done with the cowl?
RUMOR: WHO'S DIRECTING THE BATMAN?
First, Ben Affleck (Voyage of the Mimi, Gigli) was just starring as Batman in the movie, eventually using the working title The Batman. Later he would direct it and, hey, that was a great idea. Ben Affleck understands direction and story. The kicker was that Affleck said he would only direct if the script he eventually would co-write was great.
Then Affleck dropped out as director. So, did his script suck? We don't know. But we do know that Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is probably directing the next solo Batman film. Now, I can't wait to see Affleck take the lead with a competent director at his side. Only, no... Maybe not...
RUMOR: BEN AFFLECK IS DONE
I guess Mr. Affleck can only take so much of the guy, Mr. Zack Snyder, who thinks that Batman should've gotten raped in prison. I wish I was joking about that. Click here to be depressed. Zack Snyder has a brilliant eye for the visual but, in my humble opinon, has no understanding of story. He claims to have loved Watchmen for the sex and violence, completely misunderstanding the political and philosophical undertones. That's his style, in a nut shell. He makes movies that are video games: big, brash, cool, and stupid. When straying too far from the source material, he falls into a violent and muddled abyss.
So, maybe Affleck is just done with being part of a shared universe under the watchful eye of Zack Snyder. Whether or not you like the movies, they have been universally panned. Even the fans have to support their beloved films by either claiming anyone who doesn't enjoy them is a Marvel fanboy or that, hey, the director's cut is better and the "Martha!" scene is still kind of stupid.
So, maybe Affleck is done, having seen some final or nearly final cut of Justice League and given up hope for a sane, orderly, and artistically fulfilling DC shared universe. Or, maybe Affleck just gave up after reading the oddest rumor...
RUMOR: THE BATMAN HAS EVERY VILLAIN EVER
The rumors keep rolling out, and the oldest and most persistent one is that there's a key villain (probably Deathstroke), but a bunch of Batman's famous rogues gallery shows up. If you can name a Batman baddie more popular than Zebra-Man or Cavalier, his name has probably been throw around in relation to the story of The Batman. It isn't that a movie chock full of famous names in evil is bad, but it's just that such a film sounds like a desperate attempt at making something, anything, from nothing. Oh, and the other rumor is that Jared Leto is done as the Joker, so...
RUMOR: JARED LETO IS DONE AS THE JOKER
I doubt he's gone. WB and DC probably locked Leto up for 134 more appearances, but the rumor still persists that Leto is done. He's either unhappy with the final cut of Suicide Squad that left his performance mostly on the cutting room floor or unhappy with the final product as a whole. You clearly don't need the Joker when you have one of the most well-known and best supporting cast in literary history, but it doesn't hurt to have a great actor - even if the actual performance wasn't great - as the most famous bad guy around.
At this point, who knows what will happen with a movie not even in production but, for the sake of quality and consistency, I hope that Ben Affleck stays on board, helping to creating a Batman movie at least reaching for the heights of The Dark Knight, Batman '89, and Mask of the Phantasm.