Ben Affleck is no longer the hero we need and deserve – which we knew. What we didn’t know was the exact reason why.

The former Batman appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Thursday Night (what a great Valentine’s Day gift for DCEU fans!) and explained his rationale behind finally retiring as The Dark Knight after only two movies.

“I tried to direct a version of it and worked with a really good screenwriter, but just couldn’t come up with a version – I couldn’t crack it,” Affleck said. “And so I thought it’s time for someone else to take a shot at it. They got some really good people so I’m excited.”

One of those “really good people” that the Oscar winner is referring to is Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes), who will direct The Batman from his own script. Not much is known about Reeves’ take on the Caped Crusader, other than it will feature a much-younger Batman than audiences have seen before and it will feature several villains from the DC hero’s rogues gallery.

The exit comes on the heels of aggressive restructuring over at Warner Bros., in terms of their plans for the future of DC Universe movies, which went into a serious damage control mode after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters and disappointed critics and many fans. After signing on for BvS and Justice League, the plan was for Affleck to direct and star in The Batman. His version would have centered on a Bruce Wayne who was older, more experience, and more cynical, according to Deadline. But, as Affleck explained, he and his Argo screenwriter, Chris Terrio, couldn’t crack the story.

The actor’s departure from the role is not exactly a surprise. (Like, we all knew he wasn’t coming back. It was just a question of timing and how to spin it.) Rumors have been flying since just before Justice League premiered exclusive footage at Comic-Con 2017 that Affleck was done.

And despite previous statements about his desire to play the part until Warner Bros. said otherwise, Affleck shattered whatever smoke screen all that was on Jan. 30 of this year, when he took to social media to announce his excitement for Reeves’ film on the same day Warner Bros. announced its release date.

The third big-screen Batman in less than a decade will hit theaters June 25, 2021. (That’s the same week Michael Keaton’s Batman arrived on the big screen 30 years ago. (*insert More You Know GIF here*)


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