Ben Affleck has officially passed on the torch to a new Batman, confirming that he won’t be returning for the next movie.
It follows the announcement that director Matt Reeves’ The Batman will be released by Warner Bros in June, 2021.
Affleck turned out three – just about – appearances as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a small cameo in Suicide Squad, and then again in Justice League.
But fans sadly didn’t warm to his portrayal of the character, with critics equally lukewarm, meaning that he may be putting his cowl away with his Daredevil mask, his first foray into the superhero realm back in 2003, which also ended with a bit of a whimper, some box office ignominy and not a little critical derision.
Affleck tweeted his best wishes to Reeves, who helmed the applauded Planet of the Apes reboots, on the news that the new Bruce Wayne will be a ‘younger’ character in his film.
— Ben Affleck (@BenAffleck) January 31, 2019
Reeves took over from Affleck in 2017, following prior plans that the Argo star would be directing and writing his own Batman instalment.
But Reeves’ take on the Gotham mythology apparently won’t, as previous rumour had it, be based on the plot of Frank Miller’s cult comic book Batman: Year One.
A search for a new Dark Knight is in progress now, however.
Warner Bros also took the opportunity to announce that the Suicide Squad sequel is on too, and, oddly, like The Batman, will be called The Suicide Squad, according to Deadline.
James Gunn, formerly of Guardians of the Galaxy, is set to direct, with a host of new characters coming in to replace the likes of Deadshot, Captain Boomberang and Killer Croc.
Gunn hit the headlines when he was fired by Marvel from the planned Guardians of the Galaxy 3, after an alt-right website re-published a series of bad taste tweets Gunn posted a decade ago.
The Suicide Squad is set to his screens in August, 2021.