Saying Goodbye to Ben Affleck's Batman, the Batman This Era Deserved
Through three movies—Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League—Ben Affleck played the Batman this generation deserved. He was an unsympathetic billionaire, a depressed loner with family issues, a tragic middle-aged man desperately clinging to his adventurous youth, an asshole with the unyielding confidence of an attractive white man.
Back in November of 2017—right after we mourned the year anniversary of an asshole billionaire with daddy issues and unearned confidence becoming president of the United States—there was one scene in Justice League that particularly captured this era of Batman.
The Flash asks Bruce Wayne: What, exactly, are Batman's superpowers anyway? Wayne, without a hint of irony, responds: "I'm rich."
On Wednesday evening, Affleck confirmed he is no longer playing Batman. Deadline reports that the next Batman movie is scheduled for June 25, 2021 from writer and director Matt Reeves (who is behind the acclaimed Planet of the Apes series). This film will focus on a younger Batman who is not Ben Affleck.
This news is no surprise, as rumors have been swirling for years that Affleck's days as Batman are numbered. From the beginning, the role felt like nothing more than a mid-life crisis, like the movie star version of buying a Corvette just to feel alive again (or, perhaps, as Matt Damon suggested in an interview with Bill Simmons last year, just a way for Affleck to impress his kid). He also didn't seem particularly happy about the role.
Remember the sad Ben Affleck meme?
Remember this quote?
I can understand people saying [Batman v Superman] was too dark, or this was outside the tone of what I’m used to seeing with a Batman story, and I think that’s a fair criticism.
If you think you hated Ben Affleck's three appearances as Batman—which average 31 percent on Rotten Tomatoes—no one hated those movies more than Ben Affleck himself.
It's hard to not feel a little bit bad for Affleck, aside from the millions he made playing this character. But, now Affleck is free.
We all are.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.