The future sounds pretty murky for Ben Affleck as Batman in DC Comics' live-action movie universe.
Despite earning praise for his incarnation of the Dark Knight in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Justice League," both films failed to achieve critical and box office success, which may have left a bad taste in the mouth of the Boston-bred actor. Since DC's superhero team-up flick flopped in November, there's been a lot of speculation that Affleck may soon leave his role as the Caped Crusader.
Lets break down some of the rumors to see if we can figure out what's to come for Batfleck on the big screen.
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Is Ben Affleck done as Batman?
Rumors began to swirl over the summer that Affleck may not return as Gotham's vigilante following "Justice League," especially after it was announced the actor would no longer be directing the upcoming solo Batman movie, which is now being helmed by Matt Reeves. However, Affleck was quick to squash any talk of his departure while speaking to fans at San Diego Comic-Con.
"Batman is the coolest f--king part in any universe,"Affleck said. "[I] would be a f--king ape on the ground for Matt Reeves."
Well, it didn't take long for him to reverse course on his bat-future. During the run-up to "Justice League" in November, Affleck told USA Today that he was "contemplating" returning as the Dark Knight for Reeves' film, although that may not exactly be in the cards.
"You don’t do it forever," Affleck said. "I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it."
Adding fuel to the fire, Affleck's younger brother Casey let it slip over the summer that Ben was done with the role, before quickly backtracking his statement.
"He's not going to do that movie, I don't think. Sorry," Casey told WEEI. "Is that breaking news? I was kind of making that up."
Other rumors suggest that Affleck may return as the Caped Crusader one last time, either in the upcoming Flash movie "Flashpoint," or the sequel to "Suicide Squad." But since both upcoming flicks, as well as the solo Batman movie, aren't even close to beginning production, we'll have to wait and see whether Affleck will show up in any of these projects.
Who will replace Batfleck?
In addition to the rumors of Affleck's departure, there's been a ton of speculation on who could fill the vacant cape and cowl.
The biggest name being thrown around is Jake Gyllenhaal, who may or may not be waiting in the wings should Affleck drop out of the role. "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm is another name that's been floating around as a possible replacement. "Star Trek" actor Karl Urban also recently revealed that he'd be "open" to the idea of playing the Dark Knight should the opportunity come his way.
For now, though, it seems Affleck isn't done with Batman quite yet.