If this chapter of the MCU really does come to a close in the events of Avengers: Infinity War as many have been suggesting, it will have achieved something historic. There is little doubt that a number of popular characters will be killed off in the upcoming films, with actors contracts ending and such. Could DC do the same? Could Justice League be the end of Ben Affleck’s Batman?
It’s been quite a turbulent year for Ben Affleck, Batman and the DC Extended Universe as a whole. After a rocky entry into the franchise with Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, Affleck, who received praise for his portrayal, was looking to cement himself as the definite Batman by directing a solo film, which became known as The Batman. However, months later he caused waves by vacating the director’s chair, which suggested to many fans that he was unhappy with the role and would shortly depart. Since then, we’ve had rumours about his involvement and lack of involvement in future films, with Affleck even confirming his excitement to play Batman for years to come. But what exactly is the truth? Why hasn’t Affleck confirmed his casting as Batman in Matt Reeves’ film? Are they waiting for Justice League to run its course before announcing his departure? It’s really anyone’s guess right now. However, truth be told, if you count up all the signs, most of the hearsay points to his death in the upcoming film.
We already know that Batman will be very different in Justice League. Fueled with hope after the death of Superman, Batman is tasked with uniting superheroes to take on the film’s main villain. Affleck described him as:
Yeah, he’s a little bit more sardonic, humour, a little more irony. He’s on a little more man on a mission this time. As opposed to like he was so full of anger because of what happened at the Black Zero Event. That kind of character, that sort of rage that possessed him. And now he’s on a mission to get this group together. To constitute this League. But, more of his, that sort of Bruce Wayne, wry, ironic gallows humour comes out. He’s not like a “haha” jokey, but that sort of stuff comes out a little bit. A bit of, his sort of darker humour stuff is present.
While many fans loved Ben Affleck’s Batman, there have been noted criticisms about the character’s darker and more brutal depiction in Batman v Superman. Justice League, of course, looks to fix all this. However, there are a few things that stand in the way of the character’s future and make us believe that it is indeed the end of the road for Batman in the upcoming film:
1. The DCEU is about sacrifice. Superman died so Batman might too.
2. Batman’s death is a redemption for him for Supe’s death.
3. He is old.
2. He is taking up a lot of screentime – which can’t be that great for Affleck.
3. Nightwing is coming.
4. Affleck can’t carry the franchise forever.
5. Killing off Batman will give Affleck a break and the chance to do other important projects.
6. Also, Affleck’s death raises the stakes of Flashpoint. He might come back after that.
7. Unlike many of the other actors in the DCEU, Ben Affleck is an A-list actor that doesn’t need to be bogged down with one specific role.
8. Affleck has redeemed himself from the awful Daredevil role.
Personally, we love Affleck as Batman. He is the textbook Batman. If we could wish anything for the DCEU, it would be that Affleck continues to play the Caped Crusader in every film in the franchise. That said, it doesn’t seem likely. Fans need to face the hard truth: our Batman will probably die.