Despite rumors to the contrary, Jake Gyllenhaal says that he has no plans of playing Batman in upcoming DC Extended Universe movies.
When asked in an interview with CNA Lifestyle, he bluntly replied, “Wow, that’s a very difficult question. The answer to that question is ‘no.’”
The veteran actor is perhaps best known for playing the title character of Donnie Darko, and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain. His upcoming projects include The Sisters Brothers and Velvet Buzzsaw.
Rumors have claimed that Matt Reeves, who is planning to direct The Batman for the DCEU, is hoping that Gyllenhaal would step in to play the Caped Crusader if Ben Affleck steps down. Unless he’s playing coy, Gyllenhaal’s comments seem to negate this claim, or at least that the two have discussed the matter and failed to work things out.
Affleck first took up the role in Batman v Superman and reprised it in Suicide Squad and Justice League; while all of these films have been divisive, including for how Batman is written, Affleck’s acting as generally been praised. Nevertheless the actor has hinted that he is looking for a way to gracefully exit the franchise sometime soon, meaning that some replacement would need to be found.
Of course, whether or not The Batman will get made—let alone the trilogy that Reeves hopes for—remains to be seen. The DCEU has announced almost thirty projects, and rumors about which is being fast-tracked seem to change every week or two; it will at least be a while before it comes out, with Aquaman planned for this year and Shazam and Wonder Woman coming out in 2019.
Not much is known about Reeves’ film, if it does proceed. He says that he is working on it, however, and that it will be a noirish take that emphasizes Batman’s role as the World’s Greatest Detective.
Aside from this film, it is not clear what other DCEU entries might include Batman, whoever is playing him by then. Features based on other Bat Family members are in the works, however, including Nightwing and Batgirl, and he’d likely show up if Justice League gets a sequel.