There has been much said about the life of actor Ben Affleck since he took on the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League. In October 2017, it was reported that Affleck had returned from an outpatient rehab Orange County because of his struggles with alcoholism. Around that same time, it was said Affleck was spending time and purchasing alcohol with Lindsay Shookus, his new girlfriend, in her hometown of Williamsville, New York. He was also seen buying liquor in Maine in what seemed to be an east coast vacation for the superhero actor.
His father, Timothy Affleck, discussed previously the impact Hollywood took on both of his sons, particularly Ben. “It has taken a toll on both of my sons,” Affleck stated. “Hollywood is a disgusting place. I think that’s been a major factor in Ben’s drinking. You’re kind of forced to develop a persona that is hard to shed and go home to your family. It affects your whole life. I think that’s one of the dangers of the film industry.” Affleck also talks about the issues he had being the same that his son, Ben, deals with. They are among the 21 million Americans that struggle with addiction, according to the US Surgeon General.
“I was a chronic, severe alcoholic for several years,” Affleck said. “I had to recover, and happily, I did. Ben has always been serious about getting sober. There is no question about that. He wants a balanced life and he is working at it.” There’s no doubt the stress of playing Wayne and dealing with the expectations of Warner Brothers has also taken a toll on the actor. Recently, Ben Affleck was seen with Shookus in Honolulu, Hawaii, where it appears he is training for his new film, Triple Frontier. According to PEOPLE, he is still very much dating her and that they are not rushing anything.
Affleck is also apparently still going to a rehab Orange County to get help for his alcoholism because he seeks to live a healthy and sober life. With Affleck’s personal life appearing to be balancing out (he still spends time with his three children and continues a positive relationship with Jennifer Garner, his ex he divorced last April), this leaves the question that has been causing many fans to wonder: will Affleck be returning to the cape and cowl of the dark knight?
It’s a question that has left many the heads of many fanboys rattling. Some have loved Affleck’s Batman and wish him to continue on with the character. Others have tired of his antics of the whether he will or whether he will not for the character. Yet, the problem seems that Affleck wants to continue to keep playing the character but does not wish to do as many appearances as Warner Brothers wants him to do. It’s why he is seeking to do Triple Frontier at the moment because he needs a break from the character.
Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale, both, as well as the rest of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Trilogy, were always given an extended period of time between films in order to build anticipation and interest once more in the intellectual property. This was not afforded to Affleck or anyone who has been involved with any of the Justice League franchise films in the DC Cinematic Universe. It’s a shame frankly because Affleck would have probably turned a great Batman film out if he was given the time necessary to get one going.
For Matt Reeves, director of the recent Planet of the Apes films and now in charge of The Batman, rumors had it that Warner Brothers were trying to see when exactly he planned to be ready to film and have it completed. Some began to think he was going to leave the film as a result. It appears for now that he is still set to stick with the film. However, anything can change in the DC Cinematic Universe as we’ve seen with Justice League and their other films.
With Reeves taking his time, it does seem that Affleck is getting a break his tenure as Batman. If he gets to relax and enjoy some of his life now, perhaps he will return in Flashpoint, Suicide Squad 2, The Batman, or all those films going forward. Losing Affleck for the DC Cinematic Universe could be very bad PR and a loss of a great talent. However, if they keep him on and make him happy, it might be a sign that we will continue to not only see Affleck in the role but the story of his version of the character, which began in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, continue onward.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.