Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck has officially stepped out of starring in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman film.

The actor/director was originally lined-up to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League flicks in the new project, and at one stage was set to direct from a script he had co-written.

However, Reeves took over the movie in February 2017, and on Wednesday (30Jan19), studio executives from Warner Bros. confirmed to Deadline that Affleck, 46, will not be in the film, which is set to be released in the summer of 2021.

Editors at the film publication report that the story will focus on a younger Batman, with a search currently underway for an actor to play the Caped Crusader.

Even though Affleck has been influential in getting the movie off the ground, he appeared to be happy with the outcome as he wrote on Twitter later on Wednesday, “Excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021 and to see @MattReevesLA vision come to life (sic).”

Details about the script for The Batman remain under wraps, though Joe Manganiello has been attached to play Slade Wilson / Deathstroke, while J.K. Simmons is rumoured to be portraying Commissioner Gordon again, with Jeremy Irons returning as Alfred Pennyworth. No other casting details have been announced.

Meanwhile, in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves indicated that the plot of the film will be a detective story.

“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional,” the Cloverfield filmmaker said. “It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been.”

Affleck will next be seen onscreen in Triple Frontier alongside Charlie Hunnam and Pedro Pascal, and is in the post-production phases of Dee Rees’ crime-drama The Last Thing He Wanted.

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