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A new rumor indicates that Jake Gyllenhaal may once again be in contention for the role of Batman, if Ben Affleck steps down, and this one isn’t surprising given that we’ve heard similar (more on this shortly). Conflicting reports and rumors about Affleck’s future as the Caped Crusader have cropped up this week, ahead of the theatrical release of the latest DC comic book movie, Justice League. For the time being, however, an official decision on the matter has yet to be made public as to not deter from Justice League’s launch.
While Affleck has indicated that he is uncertain about his future playing Batman, he has also said that he is “contemplating” starring in The Batman, aka. the solo Batman movie that Matt Reeves is now attached to direct. John Campea subsequently broke the that rumor that Reeves has a replacement Batman actor in mind for his own DC Comics adaptation. Now, Campea has revealed who said mystery candidate is, after initially refraining from doing so.
Campea is now reporting that Gyllenhaal is Reeves’ top pick to take over the role of the Dark Knight from Affleck in The Batman. Although this rumor should be taken with a grain of salt until further notice, it might not be so far-fetched. Our own Rob Keyes heard Gyllenhaal had at least a meeting with Reeves not too long ago and teased this on social media this morning while awaiting responses from reps.
Back when Christopher Nolan was casting Batman Begins, Gyllenhaal auditioned for the eponymous role. Although Nolan ultimately cast Christian Bale to play Bruce Wayne instead, Gyllenhaal’s sister Maggie later appeared in the sequel to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight. Jake Gyllenhaal was also in contention to play Spider-Man at one point, potentially as a Tobey Maguire replacement, so his desire to play a superhero is well-documented at this stage.
Gyllenhaal has proven himself to be a gifted performer over the years and should be able to easily handle the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The big question, however, is whether his casting would reboot the character again. Though superhero movies have regularly recast roles within franchises without resetting the narrative (case in point: Maggie Gyllenhaal took over for Katie Holmes in Nolan’s Batman movies), the shared DC cinematic universe hasn’t done that yet. Moreover, at 36 years old, Jake Gyllenhaal would have a hard time matching the more grizzled and experienced take on Batman that Affleck has delivered.
That being said, nothing has been set in stone at this stage. It’s still possible that Affleck will ultimately be the one to play the Caped Crusader in Reeves’ DC film – or that The Batman will recast its title role with someone like Jake Gyllenhaal, as a way of rebooting the franchise yet again. Of course, there’s also the third option: that Ben Affleck will return as Bruce Wayne in The Batman and pass his cape/cowl down to another character (played by a younger actor). Until further notice, any prediction on the matter is fair game.