Affleck Is Batman No More?
Ben Affleck has seen better days. Justice League was not a financial or critical hit (though in this critic’s opinion, it has been unfairly maligned). His marriage is breaking up. As of two weeks ago, he reported to a rehab facility due to his continuing battle with alcohol. With Matt Reeves’ The Batman to shoot next summer, there is doubt whether Affleck will return to his role.
So, it seems WB has been searching high and low for a possible replacement should Affleck’s sobriety not come to pass. It is also rumored, though unproven, that rising insurance costs might make Affleck too costly to return to the cowl. However, WB did not have to look too far. In fact, they went to their HBO properties to find their replacement.
Harington to Replace Affleck As Batman?
Latest rumors from the mill seem to indicate that a new Dark Knight will rise from Westeros. Kit Harington, aka Jon Snow, is rumored to have been approached by Warner Brothers to be the new Batman. With Matt Reeve’s film rumored to focus on a younger Batman, this would make sense. Even more interesting, WB has asked for a digital mockup of the British actor in the Batman suit. At 31, he would certainly have more longevity in the part.
However, there is one tiny problem (hey, I’m short, I can make the joke). Kit Harington is much shorter than Affleck, standing at 5’8″ to Affleck’s 6’4″. He would be even shorter than Michael Keaton, who was only 5’9″ when he played Batman. Fan backlash would be inevitable, especially if Harington would stand next to Henry Cavill. There’s also the concern that Harington, though a star on Game of Thrones, has not been a box office draw when it comes to the silver screen.
A Rebirth for Affleck?
However, they might not need this backup plan. Affleck’s rehab is supposedly going swimmingly. He’s been recently been spotted looking healthier and slimmed down. He is regularly going home to use the gym daily, under supervision. Not to mention he went to rehab willingly after his ex, Jennifer Garner, staged an intervention. His recognition that he badly needed help is a good sign. If his rehab goes well over the next few months, he should be ready to return to the cape and cowl in time for filming. And if he is doing regular workouts, it could be possible prep for that film as well.
The Batman is rumored to start filming next summer for a 2020 release. The next DCEU film, Aquaman, debuts in December.