(Photo: Getty Images, Emma McIntyr)

In a lengthy USA Today story about the making of Justice League, Ben Affleck has once again resurrected the idea that he wants to stop playing Batman as soon as possible. It came in response to a question about Matt Reeves’ The Batman, with Affleck saying that the film was a project he’s “contemplating” rather than a sure-thing, adding that playing a superhero is something you can’t do “forever,” so he wants to “find a graceful and cool way to segue out of it.” The implication there is that he wants some narrative justification for him finally being able to step away from Batman, rather than just a recasting between movies or whatever.

This is just the latest development in the mystery of whether or not Ben Affleck actually likes playing Batman in the DC superhero movies. Over the last few months, it has become the sort of impenetrable mystery that not even a famous vigilante detective could solve, even though the truth actually seems pretty obvious. At the beginning of this year, we reported that Ben Affleck was considering hanging up his cape and cowl after the standalone Batman movie that he was once supposed to direct, a rumor that gained steam when new Batman director Matt Reeves ditched everything about Affleck’s old script and when Warner Bros. itself began to look for a way to remove Affleck from future movies “gracefully”—a word that he used in the USA Today piece.

Every good mystery needs a shocking twist, though, and this one came in the form of Affleck himself saying that playing Batman is“the greatest fucking part in the world” and implying that he had no desire to give up on the gig. Basically, it’s like having multiple people confirm that the sky is blue, only to have Ben Affleck emphatically claim that the sky still enjoys playing Batman.

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