January of 2017 saw the word hit that Ben Affleck had stepped down from directing The Batman movie, in which he was supposed to star and write.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Ben Affleck said in a statement at the time. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Following Affleck initially stepping down, reports then started to surface that the actor/director wasn't happy with The Batman script, and even that as a result of the poor box office performance of Live By Night that he was rethinking how he approaches projects.
Then rumors of Ben Affleck leaving the Batman role started to fly, with his brother, Casey Affleck, even stating Ben was done with the role.
Back in December of 2017 also saw Ben Affleck offer up that he never got a script he was happy with and would only return to the role if it was good enough.
Now it's suggested that not be exactly the case, as it's being said the Ben Affleck Batman script was actually "the best."
The info comes from Jay Oliva, who has directed DC animated movies and worked on storyboard art for the Zack Snyder films.
"The original Affleck script was the best Batman script I’ve ever read. Ben had a kick ass story and I believe that the audience and fans would have loved it," Jay Oliva tweeted.
Hi Bill! The original Affleck script was the best Batman script I’ve ever read. Ben had a kick ass story and I believe that the audience and fans would have loved it.— Jay Oliva (@jayoliva1) September 4, 2018
So as we see, Ben Affleck offering up that he wasn't happy with the Batman script doesn't seem to add up.
"There was a lot happening that is above you and my paycheck," Oliva responded on Twitter. "I wish it was as easy as just making it. It had some of the best Batman/ Deathstroke stuff I’d ever done!"
There was a lot happening that is above you and my paycheck. I wish it was as easy as just making it. It had some of the best Batman/ Deathstroke stuff I’d ever done!— Jay Oliva (@jayoliva1) September 4, 2018
Regarding the plot of Ben Affleck's script, apparently it featured the Legion of Doom sending Deathstroke to Gotham City to hunt down and take out Batman (and now we see how the Justice League post-credit scene tied into things).
Regarding why the Ben Affleck Batman movie was scrapped, it's unknown. If the script wasn't the problem, what was? Maybe the rumors that Affleck wanted out of the role were true, and this is the spin (that the script wasn't good enough) they all came up with to get him out.
While all the drama unfolded, February of 2017 saw WB officially announce Matt Reeves as the writer and director on The Batman.
Current details for the Matt Reeves The Batman include that it looks to start filming next year.
"Obviously we’re not doing an origin tale or anything like that," Reeves previously offered about his take on the DCEU Dark Knight. "We’re doing a story that is definitively Batman though and trying to tell a story that’s emotional and yet is really about him being the world’s greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.”
Reeves also said: “I’ve talked about making it a very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham. I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favorite comics. Those all inform by osmosis. There’s no continuation of the Nolan films. It’s very much trying to find a way to do this as something that for me is going to be definitively Batman and new and cool.”
Regarding Ben Affleck continuing to play Batman is unknown, but the actor recently entered rehab, said to be for a lengthy stay.
Rumors have it that Matt Reeves is looking for a younger actor to play the role. When I first revealed the title The Batman back in 2012, I was also told it would feature a Caped Crusader in his his second year of being a hero, with Tyler Hoechlin wanted as the new Batman (Hoechlin eventually became The CW's Superman).