Ben Affleck’s Batman has been on a rocky road of life, but after being the only saving grace of Dawn of Justice I thought we’d at least get another four or so movies out of him. However, from the moment Sad Affleck came into being things have been going downhill. First the actor dropped directorial duties for The Batman as Matt Reeves took over. Then there were rumors he was looking to/pushed to get out entirely. And now, a report from THR that says WB is looking for a way to phase him gracefully out of the role.
This may sound a bit troubling in terms of the DC comic movies because they’re a just a long line of troubling things (aside from Wonder Woman), but it does actually make some sense. While an older Batman fit into the character for BvS that really didn’t allow for much planning from there. If you’re set to launch an entire universe you want a guy who can stick around for a decade or more and still be believable as the character. Affleck is close to aging out of Batman now, let alone five years from now when The Batman is scheduled to land. And if rumors are true, Matt Reeves wants to make a trilogy and that would definitely make Affleck ancient by the time it was done.
So what does a “graceful” exit look like? I’m not sure. It sounds like a euphemism for taking him out to the shed and putting him down, but maybe they’re actually planning to introduce a younger character to take over as Batman. That might be really tough to do considering Bruce Wayne is such an integral part of the whole mythos for the general public, but I don’t see any other way they could do it without a recast like the did when Keaton left. That’s not too graceful, though.
That leaves us with one option: Crisis on Infinite Earths confirmed.