Rumours abound that after the next Justice League film Ben Affleck is to be eased out of his role as Gotham City's favourite crime fighter.

Affleck as Batman

Since taking over the cape from Christian Bale things have not gone smoothly for the Oscar-winning actor. His first outing as Batman, in Batman vs Superman, was universally panned by critics.

His next outing, in 2016's Suicide Squad, did not go any further to salvaging the hero's good name. In an effort to redress the balance he was set to direct a new Batman movie from a script he had written with DC's Geoff Johns.

However, in February 2017 Affleck decided to step down as director stating that with a character like Batman he would be unable to give the required attention to such an iconic role as well as direct the film. The new director appointed was Matt Reeves from War of the Planet of the Apes and he promptly dropped Affleck's screenplay. After suffering at the hands of critics and fans alike in his last two outings this final indignity would have been a lot to bear.

Is he set to hang up the cape?

With two outings which have been underwhelming, to say the least, it comes as no surprise to hear that Warner Brothers are trying to usher Affleck out gracefully. In addition to this, there is talk that new director Reeves wants to make a trilogy of Batman films and given that Affleck is 45 in August he would be well into his 50's playing the Caped Crusader by the time that particular project ended.

He is already considerably older than his co-stars in the Justice League films.

Support from Warner Bros

Despite rumours stating that Warner Brothers are trying to oust Affleck from his post, he has received support from the studio chief Toby Emmerich who has said, "Ben is our Batman. We love him as Batman. We want to keep him in the cowl as long as we can".

Affleck is still due to appear as Batman in the forthcoming Justice League 2 film which is due out in November of this year. But after that, it could be anyone's guess.

What are the options?

If Reeves is considering embarking on a trilogy then a decision needs to be made sooner rather than later. It would be a poor decision is Affleck were to star in the first film and be replaced afterwards.

Here are some potential candidates if Reeves decides to recast the role before filming begins next year;

  • Michael C. Hall star of Dexter
  • Eric Bana of Hulk, Troy and Black Hawk Down
  • Michael Fassbender, star of the X-Men franchise.
  • Jake Gyllenhaal. Was in the running alongside Christian Bale so maybe, at 36, his time has come.