Den of Geek is running a report that Warner Bros. is currently negotiating with their last Caped Crusader actor, Ben Affleck, to extend his contract to include a total of three solo Batman movies. Supposedly the studio was so taken with his performance in a recent private screening of Batman v Superman that they believe Affleck to be the “definitive” silver screen Batman. They reportedly want him to stay in the role for the next decade.
It may well be true that Warner Bros. went gaga for the film at a recent studio screening. It also may be true that they want to keep Affleck in the cowl for as long as they can manage. We already know that they want the actor/director to remain at their studio as a permanent fixture, much like they have done with Clint Eastwood for the majority of the latter’s career. All of this is entirely believable and very likely true.
It is the notion that Affleck is on the verge of extending his contract that sends up all kinds of red flags. While it has yet to be officially confirmed, our sources have told us from Day One that Affleck signed a five film contract to be WB’s new Batman. Those five films seem to be comprised of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), David Ayer’s Suicide Squad (2016), Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Part One (2017), Affleck’s own Untitled Batman Film (2018), and Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Part Two (2019).
That’s five films across four years, which is a whole lot of Batman in a rather short amount of time. It leaves very little time for Ben Affleck to do much else during that timespan, beyond Live By Night (2017), his adaptation of Denis Lehane’s best-selling gangster novel. Between that project and potentially squeezing in a re-teaming with David Fincher on a remake of Strangers on a Train, Ben is going to be doing almost nothing but playing Bruce Wayne for the next few years. That alone is enough to make this rumor incredibly suspect.
Beyond that, our own sources have told us time and time again that Affleck has no intention of even considering extending his contract until after he is close to the end of it. At the time, I’m sure he will weigh his options based on creative freedom (both with the franchise and outside of it), profitability, and yes, even audience perception. No one wants to be locked into a decades-worth of films in a massively iconic role if audiences don’t take to their interpretation of it and Affleck is no different.
Sorry folks, this one just isn’t true. No matter what WB, Geoff Johns, and DC may or may not want right now, Ben Affleck is not in negotiations to extend his contract already and likely won’t be for years. It might happen eventually, but it’s definitely not happening right now. When the time comes, however, I’d like to imagine it will play out something like this…