The idea that Ben no longer wants to play Batman has dogged Affleck for some time now, with rumors surfacing as early as January 2017 that he would ditch the Batsuit. He was originally set to write and direct The Batman, the standalone Batman movie planned after Justice League, but Affleck is now doing neither after Matt Reeves signed up to direct the film with a new script.
No matter how many times Affleck and Warner Bros. have denied rumblings—with varying degrees of conviction—that Affleck might be stepping away, the rumor persists. Even Affleck’s brother, actor Casey Affleck, said that Affleck was stepping away.
The latest version of this story comes from USA Today, where Affleck himself floated the idea that he might not play Batman anymore.
Working on The Batman is “something I’m contemplating,” he told USA Today. “You don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.”
He also stoked the fires with Extra, telling an interviewer that “We’ll see what the future holds.”
It’s always possible that Affleck is playing coy, in case his character doesn’t survive Justice League, but given the public relationship he’s had with the role, it’s just as easy to believe that he really doesn’t want to do it anymore. Or maybe we’ll have a Daniel Craig–James Bond situation on our hands, with Affleck inflating rumors that he’ll exit after Justice League a whole bunch before he’s officially announced to play Batman again.