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On Jan. 30, 2019, Ben Affleck confirmed he was retiring as Batman, a move that ended nearly 18 months of speculation about his future as the Dark Knight and which paved the way for Robert Pattinson to step into the role for Matt Reeves’ The Batman.
Now, in a revealing interview with The New York Times, Affleck explains his reasons for leaving the project, which at one point he was going to star in and direct. The Times profile notes that Affleck’s struggles with alcoholism, his split from his ex-wife Jennifer Garner and the troubles he had shooting and promoting 2017’s Justice League all came to a head.
“I showed somebody the Batman script,” Affleck said. “They said, ‘I think the script is good. I also think you’ll drink yourself to death if you go through what you just went through again.'”
Filmmaker Zack Snyder cast Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman in August 2013 for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The actor also briefly played the character in 2016’s Suicide Squad, and long had plans to write and direct The Batman. But even before Justice League opened to muted results in November 2017, cracks were beginning to show in Affleck’s future as the Dark Knight. In February 2017, Reeves boarded as director, and by July the filmmaker had noted he had dropped Affleck’s script.
Affleck has moved on from the role, and next will be seen in the sports drama The Way Back, in which he plays a high school basketball coach struggling with alcoholism. As for The Batman, Reeves recently showed off the first look at Pattinson in the lead role for the film, which is set to open in 2021.
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