The Batman director knows who he wants to replace Ben Affleck

Warner Bros. may finally be ready to have mercy on Ben Affleck, releasing him from his cursed role as the disgruntled Bat of Gotham, according to a report by Collider's John Campea.

Specifically, the news revolves around Matt Reeves, the director of the upcoming Caped Crusader solo film The Batman. According to Campea, who prefaced his comments by saying he was "hesitant to say anything", the director has a surprising actor in mind to replace Ben Affleck as Batman in the role.

Campea brought the issue up on the November 15 episode of his online show in response to a question regarding both The Batman and Flashpoint, and whether DC would use the time-altering storyline of Flashpoint to reboot Batman's identity. 

"This question comes up every single day," Campea said, before answering with a no. "I still think they're just gonna recast Batman." 

Campea went on to say he had recently spoken with an unnamed film producer who told him who Matt Reeves wants to take up the cowl in Affleck's stead, and said the pick—whom he did not name—took him by surprise. 

"I'll be honest with you, the name they gave me caught me a little bit by surprise," Campea said. He says he later confirmed the news with another source, but is declining for now to share the name, considering the abuse he received for revealing earlier in the year that Affleck wanted out of the role—surprising news at the time that is continuing to appear to be completely correct. 

Regardless, Campea hedged his bets, saying that just because Reeves wants a particular actor doesn't mean that actor will want the role. "There's been no movement or anything like that," he said. "It doesn't mean anything's going to happen."

Still, even without a named actor, this news does further the narrative that Ben Affleck wants out of the role of Batman, making the upcoming solo movie an interesting clean slate prospect.

Ben Affleck's all-but-certain desire to exit the DC superhero franchise has become a running joke on the internet, with the actor's non-responses to questions of his continuing involvement resulting in plenty of headlines and cheeky analyses like this one. 

The writing on the walls is so evident that Ben's brother Casey felt emboldened enough to up and spill the news in an interview in August that Ben Affleck, once the director, writer, and star of The Batman, would actually not be doing the movie at all. (Casey walked that statement back the next day, with his representatives insisting he was only "having fun", which—sure, okay. We are too.)

It's hard to fault Affleck for his very public apathy, considering this whole Batman thing really hasn't gone that well for him. In Batman v. Superman, he was cited by many as being one of the bright spots of an abysmally-received movie, but his reactions to the critical takes still spawned an immortal meme of misfortune and regret

His turn in Justice League hasn't fared much better, with the movie being slightly more well-received (but still rotten). His performance in that movie, however, has been dinged by some for a certain weariness and lack of enthusiasm. The guy tried his best, and it didn't work. 

Justice League may not be the last time Ben Affleck suits up as Batman, but it's probably getting pretty close. We'll have more as the news develops. Til then, you can see Affleck in Justice League, opening everywhere in the US on November 17.