Ben Affleck will not be donning the Caped Crusader suit when “The Batman” comes to theaters in summer 2021, a person familiar with the situation, but not authorized to speak publicly about it, confirms to USA TODAY.
The source also confirmed that director James Gunn is in negotiations to direct the next “Suicide Squad” movie, which will be released in 2021.
The new DC Comics Batman film will be released on June 25, 2021, written and directed by Matt Reeves, and will focus on a younger Bruce Wayne. So the search is on for the new actor who will step into the role.
Affleck, 46, has played Batman in “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “Suicide Squad” and “Justice League.”
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The actor retweeted a Deadline story which said he would not appear in the film.
“Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life,” Affleck wrote.
Affleck was originally supposed to write, direct and star in “The Batman.” Two years ago, he pulled out of directing duties but said in a statement he would still star. “I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
During an interview with USA TODAY in December 2016, Affleck said he was having issues with directing and writing the film.
“Superhero movies get the level of attention that is nothing like any film I’ve done. You cast the 14th lead in these movies and the Internet goes crazy,” Affleck said. “I understand and embrace that. That’s part of the pressure that comes with doing it. That’s why I am not going to do it, unless I really feel confident about it.”
In October 2018, Affleck wrote on Instagram that he had completed a “forty day stay at a treatment center for alcohol addiction.” He revealed in the post that his journey was far from over and he will continue outpatient care.
For Gunn, the “Suicide Squad” sequel would be his first directing job since Disney and Marvel Comics cut ties with the “Guardians of the Galaxy” director in July for old, offensive tweets that joked about topics including rape and pedophilia.
Gunn is already writing the screenplay for the film, titled “The Suicide Squad.”
The Hollywood Reporter says the film isn’t being labeled a direct sequel but as a relaunch with a new direction and a mostly new cast of characters and actors. The project will be very much rooted in Gunn’s quirky vibe, as seen in the “Guardians” movies.