Holy retirement, Batman! Ben Affleck is hanging up the iconic cape and cowl and moving on from the superhero role.
Not only was Affleck slated to return to play the Caped Crusader himself, but he was also expected to direct DC's The Batman. Now, he'll be stepping down from the legendary comic book hero entirely. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday night, Affleck confirmed he was indeed retiring from Batman in general and explained his reasoning in further detail.
"I tried to direct a version of it and worked with a really good screenwriter, but just couldn't come up with a version – I couldn't crack it," he said. "And so it was time to let someone take a shot at it. They've got some really good people."
Kimmel surprised Affleck with a hilarious "retirement" ceremony, telling Affleck he would be hanging up the Batsuit in the studio's rafters.
"We're going to officially retire your bat cape in the rafters," said Kimmel. "That is your official cowl and cape," he said, as Kimmel's sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez rolled out a suit dressed as Robin. The back of the cape featured "Batfleck" emblazoned across the top, with a number #12, a reference to Super Bowl champ Tom Brady. While raising the iconic suit to the rafters. Affleck playfully responded "I'm not Batman," a twist on the hero's famous line.
Affleck originally took on the monumental role of Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016, then carried on the role in Suicide Squad and 2017's Justice League, inspiring the affectionate "#Batfleck" hashtag with fans and critics discussing if he was ever truly "right" for the role. Though he had a very short run as the Dark Knight, Affleck is ready to see someone else take the reins in terms of directing and playing the character.
Director Matt Reeves took over from Affleck to handle The Batman around two years ago, and has been working on a way to bring Batman back to the big screen in a unique way for summer 2021.
In late January, Deadline reported that Affleck would not be returning for The Batman, though the actor had yet to speak at length on the announcement beyond a tweet confirming that the news was indeed true.
"Excited for The Batman in Summer 2021 and to see Matt Reeves' vision come to life," he wrote.
As far as who's taking over now that the #Batfleck era has ended? We couldn't say. We'll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled, however. Thanks for everything, Ben! You had a good run.