Not long after Matt Reeves took over directing duties on The Batman, rumors began swirling about Ben Affleck’s potential exit from the DCEU. According to some reports Affleck may not be in Reeves’ film, which Warner Bros. hopes will kickstart a new series on par with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Another report suggested Affleck is leaving the DCEU entirely after Justice League. But what does Affleck have to say about his Bat-future?

In USA Today’s extensive feature on Justice League, Affleck appears to be a little less certain of his role in The Batman, back-tracking a bit on the affirmative stance he took over the summer. When he appeared at Comic-Con, Affleck wholeheartedly dismissed rumors of his potential exit from the franchise, but now he doesn’t seem so sure:

[Matt Reeves’ Batman] is something I’m contemplating…you don’t do it forever, so I want to find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.

It sure doesn’t sound like Affleck has fully committed to The Batman just yet. When Reeves came on board, he scrapped the script that Affleck co-wrote with DC’s Geoff Johns in favor of starting fresh; that concept may not even require Affleck’s involvement (if Reeves’ version of Bruce Wayne is younger, for instance).

The actor is certain (and right) about one thing, though: He can’t play Batman forever. (But he can play Batman Forever, like in his Blu-ray player.) Aside from Adam West’s prolific run, which spanned TV, film and animated movies, Christian Bale portrayed the Caped Crusader the longest, starring in all three of Nolan’s films. Affleck has so far only appeared in two films: Batman v Superman and the upcoming Justice League.

But with Warner Bros. re-examining their DC franchise in the wake of Wonder Woman’s success (and the negative response to their first wave of films), it’s possible that Affleck could find a “cool way to segue out of” playing Batman as the studio welcomes a new (and possibly younger) star into the fold.

A Visual History of Batman in Movies

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