It’s clear that there’s been trouble in Gotham for quite some time now. Although Ben Affleck is, at least officially, the current reigning Batman, rumors have been circulating since last summer that he and Warner Bros. might be thinking of changing that. Affleck was up to write, produce, direct and star in the next standalone Batman movie, but by late 2016 he was already out calling the script “subpar” and describing the film as “not good enough.”
Then he stepped down from the director’s spot, and Matt Reeves swooped into that role. Ever since, rumors have persisted that Affleck wants out of the DC Universe entirely and that Warner Bros. was considering fulfilling his wishes. Casey Affleck almost said as much last summer.
One Variety report claimed although Affleck will likely appear as Batman in the upcoming Flash movie, it’s “highly unlikely” that he will star in The Batman, as Reeves is looking to fresh “fresh talent.” Nevertheless, the fact remains that none of this speculation has been confirmed by either Affleck or Warner. Affleck played Batman most recently in 2017's Justice League, but the rumor mill has continued running. The latest story, as of late last year, was that Jake Gyllenhaal was in the running for Batman/Bruce Wayne.
Although that tidbit has remained a rumor, Gyllenhaal himself was finally asked (or he finally chose to answer) a direct question in a new interview with CNA Lifestyle. The interviewer very cheekily squeezes in a question about the Dark Knight by saying there is a role that embodies a bunch of features like “thrill-seeker, fearlessness, innovative, bold, curious.” She then straight up asks him if he’ll be the next Batman.
“Wow, that’s a very difficult question,” he says, with a little laugh. “The answer to that question is no.”
If you believe him, then that’s that. You can go now, have a nice day.
However, if you’re the skeptical type, you’ll remember that Jason Momoa repeatedly flat-out lied to interviewers about being Aquaman. It wouldn’t be out of the question for Gyllenhaal and Warner Bros. to want to keep quiet about the news until everything is straightened out. And how fascinating would it be for Gyllenhaal to play the archnemesis of the Joker, the role that won his close friend and Brokeback Mountain co-star Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar?