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By Peter Oberth

Ben Affleck drops out of 'Batman Vs Superman'...?

Mark my words, this is a headline you will be reading in the next few weeks or months.  Recently, there were rumors swirling that Affleck received a leg injury, it wasn't reported as anything major but it was being said that the production of Batman Vs. Superman would be delayed for 6 weeks.  Those rumors quickly circulated this past Saturday (January 18) until Warner Bros officially announced later in the day that the film would be delayed not 6 weeks but 10 MONTHS.  The original release date of July 2015 was pushed to May of 2016, making it a summer starter instead of a summer tentpole.
Now, is reporting that the reasons for the delay are not for the injury at all (which turned out to be a minor muscular injury that didn't even give him so much as a limp during this past weekend's SAG Awards).  Apparently, the budget for the film was at risk of getting out of control, much like Warner's problem-plagued Superman Returns in 2006.  Apparently the issue at hand is whether or not to show Wonder Woman's home in Paradise Island.  But does that really make sense?  With a movie that will already be heavy in SFX, would showing what would be the rainforest quivalent of Cybertron really add a significant amount to the budget?  The problem with that is the amount of money it will likely cost to delay the movie and extend the various players' contracts will probably equal if not exceed whatever it would cost to digitally create Themyscira.
It is more likely, in my opinion, that this project was doomed from the start.  First, the blowback to the casting of Affleck as Batman was widespread and things got more muddled with the casting of the very non-Amazonian Gal Gadot and the rumors that she would be from Krypton instead of Paradise Island.  Take into account that this movie was already beginning the production process without the casting of the very pivotal piece of Lex Luthor and it appears that Batman Vs. Superman was a rushed project that was likely never supposed to come out in 2015 in the first place.  
Earlier in 2013, Charlie Hunnam was cast in the long gestating Fifty Shades of Grey.  From the moment he was cast, the fans were at immediate outrage, practically calling for his head on a pike.  All of the negativity that Hunnam received ultimately led to him quitting the project altogether and the studio having to scramble to cast a new lead.  This is Fifty Shades of Grey, a fly-by-night "romance" novel so you have to imagine that the pressure Affleck is getting for attempting to portray one of the most beloved comic book characters of all time is incalculably greater than what Hunnam experienced.  
Perhaps Affleck will stick around, I obviously don't know, but the pieces seem to be coming together.  The sudden delay of what was arguably the biggest movie of 2015 and what that will cost the studio shows that there are more issues than a simple injury or a small creative decision.  That is a sign that something time-consuming is coming and what is more time consuming that having to recast one of your leads and do it in a way that won't anger fans, at least as much, as the original casting?  I might be stretching but I have a strong feeling that, come May of 2016, we won't be seeing Ben Affleck wearing that iconic cowl on the big screen.  But maybe this will be a good thing for the franchise?  I like Affleck but I am one of the many that just can't see him as Batman.  I also felt that this movie was feeling very rushed, which is never a good thing for such a potentially complex storyline.  A good 10 months should do the story, and casting, a bit of good.