Is Ben Affleck actually out as Batman?

Ever since the disappointing box office numbers for Batman v Superman, there have been rumors floating around about Ben Affleck and a departure from the Batman role. He was originally signed on the direct and star in the DCEU’s stand alone Batman movie, which was rumored as an upcoming multi-film slate. Then of course was the mixed reviews on last year’s Justice League film. From there rumors have grown that Affleck wants to find the right way to exit the character and leave for better things.

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There have even been rumors of his replacements. Everyone from Jon Hamm to Jake Gyllenhaal taking over the role. Rumors have persisted over the past few days that Affleck is indeed out and the role is set to be recast. However, there’s still talk of Affleck appearing in the upcoming Flashpoint movie. Again he was linked to direct the film and again turned it down leading to an ever-growing rift between Affleck and the studio. So just how can the studio transition to a different Bruce Wayne and still keep the continuity?

It’s simple, and if you don’t know the Flashpoint story stop reading here. In Flashpoint Barry Allen/Flash goes back in time to prevent the murder of his mother Nora Allen. Doing so creates an alternate time line where everything has changed in Barry’s life and only he recognizes the differences. One of the most notable stories is Bruce Wayne being the one shot in the alley and Thomas Wayne taking up the Batman role.

It’s curious that Ben Affleck would be attached to a Batman role in a time where Bruce Wayne doesn’t exist. Sure the studio could bring him in for a few cameo scenes to enhance the story, but if they were smart they’d play their hand a little different. Instead of casting a whole other actor to play Thomas Wayne, cast Affleck give him an older more worn down look for the movie and let him play Thomas Wayne. Doing so would present a chance to show Barry’s connection to the character, his confusion on the new timeline, and when he resolves the issue he creates and returns to his own timeline they’d need nothing more than cast a different Bruce Wayne going forward.

Even after Barry Allen fixes the timeline there are still consequences for his actions. One of these consequences could be the change of who we know as Bruce Wayne. When the Flash returns to the original timeline revealing Gyllenhaal or whomever as the next Batman would be the perfect way to transition from Ben Affleck as Bruce  Wayne without entirely screwing with the audience. Then for continuity purposes whoever is Bruce Wayne at the end of Flashpoint going forward, wouldn’t throw off tying the Batman solo film into the DCEU. Not only that, it would allow them to bring back Ben Affleck at a later date should they decide to explore more stories of Thomas Wayne such as the crossover comic The Button. The DCEU isn’t totally doomed, they just need to be smart about their transition of characters. This is the only way for a recast to make sense should they decide not to reboot their entire movie line.

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