The DC live-action universe has had a wild run theaters so far, full of both peaks and valleys. While the shared universe is still celebrating the massive success of James Wan’s Aquaman, there have been a few missteps during its early stages, including Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. And there’s one common thread in those three flicks: Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/ Batman. While audiences responded to the jaded and experienced version of the Dark Knight, the filmmaker has officially left his role and hung up the cowl and cape for good.
Ben Affleck’s departure has a variety of affects on the DC Universe, with director Matt Reeves having to recast the role for his upcoming solo flick The Batman. Zack Snyder brought Affleck’s Batman to audiences with Batman v Superman, and recently posted a poetic tribute to his collaboration with the Oscar winner, saying:
Both emotional and funny, Zack Snyder seems to have a gamut of emotions regarding Ben Affleck’s departure from Batman. He had quite a partnership with Affleck for BvS and Justice League, bringing a version of Bruce Wayne that was far more jaded, experienced, and emotionally damaged than the ones in the Dark Knight trilogy or Joel Schumacher flicks. As such, he seems bummed to see the character retired.
Zack Snyder’s comments on Vero (via Reddit) are sure to elicit a variety of reactions from moviegoers out there. The Watchmen director‘s contributions to the DCEU helped to jump start an entire cinematic universe, although not all of his movies have been a success for Warner Bros. The fandom took umbrage with the creative choices in Batman v Superman, especially as Ben Affleck’s Batman killed criminals without care. And after Snyder departed Justice League due to a family emergency, Joss Whedon stepped in, with the final cut being somewhat of a Frankenstein film.
But despite the missteps of the DC Universe, Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman was widely considered a strong point of those early films. The actor brought a hulking physical presence to the role, and moviegoers could see the physical and emotional scars from his years of vigilante work. Unfortunately, the bad press and viral memes may have inspired Affleck to leave Bats behind, and Matt Reeves will recast for his developing movie The Batman.
The next DC blockbuster coming to theaters in Shazam! on April 5th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.