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Could the Ben Affleck solo Batman movie still happen? Affleck’s fans on the internet say yes. On Sunday April 11th, #MakeTheBatfleckMovie was trending on Twitter with as many 67,000 tweets in support of it. After Zack Snyder’s Justice League recently stirred up renewed interest in the Snyderverse, Batfleck’s fans are now crying out for the solo Batman movie (where he was teed up to fight Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke) that was sadly not to be. Affleck’s personal issues with his divorce and his drinking led to him stepping away from the cape and cowl, prompting Warner Bros. to move on and cast Robert Pattinson in a reboot (The Batman) directed by Matt Reeves.
Since that time, Ben Affleck has not only returned to playing the caped crusader for reshoots to complete Zack Snyder’s Justice League – getting himself in better shape, so much so that the ol’ cowl was actually a size or two too big – but he’s also signed on to appear in the upcoming, oft-delayed Ezra Miller-led The Flash film. Director Andy Muschietti has described Affleck as “a substantial part of the emotional impact of the movie”. With Affleck clearly now once again comfortable to become the Dark Knight, it stands to reason he’d be tempted into trying to direct his abandoned solo Batman movie one more time. He seems to have come to a semblance of peace not just with himself, but with his role as the iconic character as it relates to him.
Considering Warner Bros’ DC Films slate is all over the show, with Suicide Squad reboots, Joker prequels and Batman reboots that don’t relate to anything else, as well as more Aquaman and more The Flash which still relate to the Snyderverse – why not give Ben Affleck’s Batman one more outing in his own little pocket-verse? The problem Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie has in coming into being isn’t just Ben Affleck’s willingness to do it – it’s Warner Bros. The studio titan have been very clear – either on the record or behind the scenes – about how they want to get away from Zack Snyder’s Justice League and forge ahead to something new. If that was the case, why even bother with Zack Snyder’s Justice League on HBO Max at all? The story goes, HBO Max and WarnerMedia are being led by different execs with different agendas.
In which case, HBO Max could be the folks who decide to take a chance on a solo Ben Affleck Batman movie, provided they get the go-ahead from the other CEOs and Presidents in the mix at WarnerMedia Entertainment. If Warner Bros don’t want to confuse audiences by having two Batmen at the same time – it’s a little late for that. Joe Q. Public is about to get Batfleck in The Flash and Robert Pattinson in The Batman. It’s safe to say that you don’t diminish one by having the other; audiences will figure it out, and obviously the diehard fans already understand what’s happening and are even okay with both. It’s more Batman than fans used to get in the span of whole decades; trust me, the fans can handle two decent actors playing Batman at the same time. It feels like the real reason behind not allowing Affleck (and a currently extremely-willing Joe Manganiello) to have his proper solo Bat offering is because of petty pissing matches behind closed doors.
With the bad press Warner Bros have been attracting – due to their replacement Justice League director Joss Whedon being exposed for his many abuses of power, and subsequent alleged cover-up/attempts to smear Ray Fisher’s character – there’s probably a few sweaty execs who feel that kowtowing to Snyderverse fans’ demands is not only ‘rolling over and showing their belly’ but an admission of failure; of being wrong about not backing the Snyder horse when they were meddling with Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice and calling the Snyder Cut “unwatchable”.
If fans want the solo Ben Affleck Batman movie, it will unfortunately hinge on several variables. Affleck wanting to return; Affleck finding the time to do it; Warner Bros agreeing to it; Warner Bros finding the right time and platform to release it upon; the list goes on. Studios have been swayed by fan support before – just look at the ‘Release the Snyder Cut’ movement and its eventual, victorious four-hour debut on HBO Max. But having most of a finished movie and being persuaded to release it is one thing (okay – being persuaded to throw in an extra 70 million dollars to complete it and then release it), but starting up a movie from scratch that everyone involved gave up on attempting a few years ago is another. That said, stranger things have happened, and there’s no crime against hoping for that solo Ben Affleck Batman movie to eventually be born out into the world. Could Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie still happen? Absolutely. Will it? Time will tell, but it seems improbable at this stage.