Tonight, we are all crying bat-tears.

That is because Deadline reports that Ben Affleck is officially done as the Dark Knight after just two starring roles and a couple of cameos. Matt Reeves’ film, tentatively titled The Batman, will feature a new — and apparently younger — actor in the title role. The movie is scheduled to open on June 25, 2021:

This is the one that Matt Reeves has been attached to as writer and director. Ben Affleck, we hear, will not be donning the Dark Knight’s tights after playing the Caped Crusader in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad and Justice League and that’s because this movie will focus on a younger Bruce Wayne.

Affleck’s time as Batman was relatively brief and not particularly successful. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made a very solid $873 million worldwide, but the movie was widely criticized for its ultra-bleak tone and extremely angry Bruce Wayne, and the scene where Batman doesn’t kill Superman because their moms have the same first name launched a thousand memes. Justice League was even worse; despite all the additional star power involved, it grossed just $657 million worldwide and felt completely disjointed. (Suddenly Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was cracking jokes.) And Affleck’s much-hyped appearance in Suicide Squad wound up being little more than a cameo.

He was cast to play an older, more grizzled Batman in the mold of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, but none of the movies ever really got there. And now DC and Warner Bros. is apparently going about as far as you can from that concept as possible, by casting a young Batman to replace him. (Deadline says Reeves’ film is not based on Miller’s Batman: Year One either.) Hm what about a movie where Batman, like, begins? Nah, it’d never work...

Gallery — The History of Batman Onscreen:

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