People will believe anything if it echoes around the comic book movie fan community for long enough.
Rumors have a habit of snowballing out of proportion, as idly speculation turns into established fact in a matter of hours when the wrong person tweets something controversial.
As such, be careful reading too much into current rumors that suggest Ben Affleck might be hanging up his cape and cowl following a further breakdown of communication between the actor and DC studios.
A couple of weeks ago, after suffering from enormous pressure both from the studio and from fans to rush pre-production script work on The Batman, Affleck made the difficult decision to step down as director of the highly anticipated movie.
Anyone who’d been keeping track of Affleck’s growing frustration with the project could hardly be surprised to hear of his decision to leave the director’s chair, but now new rumors suggest that Affleck won’t even stay on as an actor in the movie.
John Campea, host of Collider Movie Talks, has claimed that three separate sources have informed him that Affleck is seriously considering walking away from DC’s comic book movie universe entirely, as a result of the bad taste that’s been left in his mouth from the entire The Batman debacle.
These rumors certainly sounds compelling – they play further into the established idea that DC and Warner Bros are micromanaging their actors and directors to the point of frustration, and dovetail nicely with the popular belief that Affleck has been particularly affected by the critical and commercial failure of his passion project, the recently released Live By Night.
That said, fans of Affleck’s Batman shouldn’t mourn just yet – these rumors don’t have an official, confirmed source, which means they probably shouldn’t be taken at face value.
The challenge with speculation like this is that, without much pushing, movie fans can end up perpetuating false information simply because it seems likely, rather than because it’s based in fact.
Perhaps the best thing for fans to do at this stage is to give Affleck some breathing room, and attempt not to hassle him for commentary on social media.
As frustration at fan attention no doubt played a part in Affleck’s decision to step down as director for The Batman, if he finds that he’s still being bothered by eager DC fans, it might be the straw that breaks this particular bat-camel’s back.
So don’t believe the rumors of Ben Affleck leaving – in many ways, they could prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.