If Ben Affleck Is Out As Matt Reeves' THE BATMAN, How Should Warner Bros. Replace Him?

If Ben Affleck Is Out As Matt Reeves' THE BATMAN, How Should Warner Bros. Replace Him?

During the Justice League press tour, Ben Affleck has suggested that he's looking into how he'll end his time as Batman. If he plans on leaving the role soon, here's how Warner Bros. could replace him...

Following Ben Affleck’s recent comments about wanting to find a “graceful and cool way” to leave the role of Batman, it’s clear that Warner Bros. needs a plan to replace him.
 
There are a few different options here, with recasting being the most obvious. This of course has been done before in the Batman franchise, as in the 1990s we saw Michael Keaton leave the franchise only to be replaced by Val Kilmer, who in turn was replaced by George Clooney. 
 
However, there is a key difference between the DCEU and the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman films, and that’s the continuity. The nineties Batman movies were pretty loosely tied together, while DC is currently trying to make most of their movies feel like they happened in the same universe. 
 
Despite this, recasting isn’t out of the question, since similar situations have unfolded in MCU with Bruce Banner and Jim Rhodes. There are also a number of other actors who could expertly portray Bruce Wayne. 



 
There’s Jon Hamm, who has been linked to the role in the past. There’s also Josh Brolin, who is already involved in every other superhero franchise, so what’s one more?
 
But based on what Affleck has said, it looks like Warner Bros. are looking into taking a different direction. Affleck says he wants his exit to be graceful and cool, and a jarring recasting doesn’t fit that description.
 
While the DCEU could take a sharp turn away from the Batman character and kill him off, this doesn’t really make sense considering the fact that Warner Bros. is planning on releasing several movies featuring Batman side characters. It would be a very strange decision to kill Batman while simultaneously developing solo movies for Batgirl and Nightwing. 
 
A lot of the DCEU’s future seems to rely on the Bat Family, so someone is going to have to don the cape and cowl. Since we’ve already seen five versions of Bruce Wayne on the big screen (more if you count serials, animations and the 1960s movie), maybe it’s time for a different character to take on the mantle of the bat? 
 
Several other characters have become Batman throughout the long history of DC Comics, including several Robins like Tim Drake, Damian Wayne, Jason Todd and Dick Grayson.
 
By having a non-Bruce Batman, the DCEU would be bringing something new to the franchise, and would be giving filmmakers a chance to enter uncharted territory with the character. 
 
However, Warner Bros. might be a bit hesitant to invest in a new Batman series with someone other than Bruce behind the mask. While the Batman brand is probably strong enough for the franchise to succeed without Bruce, it’s still a gamble.
 
Also, properly transitioning from one Batman to another would take a lot of cooperation from Ben Affleck. It would be nice to see him stick around for at least one more movie where he would pass the torch to Robin. While we know at least one Robin exists in the DCEU, we haven’t seen anything but his vandalized suit.

 
This is why it’s important to have at least one movie establishing the bond between Batman and Robin before Bruce retires. Seeing Bruce Wayne pass on the mantle of the bat should be an emotionally satisfying experience for the audience, so it’s important that the DCEU gets this right. Since this series has drawn criticism in the past for poorly handling emotional moments, they should ensure that the introduction of a new Batman doesn’t feel forced. 
 
This all comes down to whether or not Affleck is actually sick of playing Batman. If he wants out right away, the resulting transition might feel hollow and rushed. But if he really wants to find a “graceful and cool way” to leave the role, he’s going to have to stick around a little while longer.
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