Remember the "Leave Britney Alone" guy? I feel that way sometimes about Ben Affleck when it comes to asking him about Batman. He's not a recluse, he's trying to promote his new movie The Way Back. But anytime he tries to promote anything, he's asked (again) why he left Batman and (again) if he'll return to play Batman again someday.
I get it. I have no doubt he gets it. It's a great "problem" to have when any star is asked about a popular role they are trying to leave in the past. But when do we move on, in Ben Affleck's case? I know he's being asked by journalists, but journalists are asking because they are asked by DC fans -- and also because they are fans too. It's what people still care about.
In this case, Ben Affleck was asked about Batman by Beliefnet contributor DeWayne Hamby. It was after a lengthy interview on The Way Back and Affleck's faith, so it's not like he got one Batman question in and moved on. He saved it for the end of the interview. The "life-long Batman fan" simply asked Ben Affleck if the door was closed forever. Here's how Affleck responded:
Yeah. That's not the kind of movie that — I had an opportunity to write and direct and star in a standalone Batman. And it just happened at a point in my life where I just kind of lost interest in those stories. You know? I’ll go see Robert's, I think it's gonna be great, he's great, but this [The Way Back] is the kind of story that I'm interested in telling now.
Ben Affleck has already shown support for Robert Pattinson, who took over his role as Batman for The Batman. Affleck was originally going to write and direct that movie, in addition to returning as Batman after Justice League. That didn't happen -- and he told CinemaBlend why he stepped away from the movie, among other reasons -- and right now Pattinson is out there filming as a new slightly younger Batman.
Speaking of age. How about 20 years from now, would he come back for The Dark Knight Returns? Ben Affleck was asked that question, and he had a chuckle with his response:
Maybe a very old Batman would be interesting, with a walker!
Hey, The Dark Knight Returns comic follows a 55-year-old Batman and Ben Affleck is 47, so he's actually pretty close. But an older Batman -- truly older, like senior -- could also be cool. We're in the "never say never" zone, but it's clear in 2020 that Ben Affleck is ready to move on from playing Batman. It always helps to see how people answer questions, when possible, so here's how Affleck addressed the latest questions on his Batfleck return:
It's fun to speculate about a return -- and I love a good fan-made trailer or mashup probably even more than the next person. But Affleck is in a serious place in his life on a personal level and that crossed over into his professional life with his role in The Way Back. He even had a breakdown filming one scene and the raw emotion that came out gave the director chills; it was even a bit too personal to include in its entirety in the movie.
Ben Affleck is also re-teaming with his fellow Oscar-winning writer Matt Damon for The Last Duel. They both have roles in the movie, in addition to co-writing the script. The film also stars Adam Driver and Jodie Comer, and Ridley Scott is directing. It's a movie about a duel in Medieval France. So that's a departure. He admitted he's nervous, and so am I. (The hair and accents ... could be interesting.)
The Way Back opens in theaters March 6, 2020. The Batman is currently scheduled for release June 25, 2021.