Whether or not Ben Affleck remains the Dark Knight could ultimately come down to the cost of insurance.
Affleck, a recovering alcoholic who is currently in rehab for the second time in less than a year, could be too expensive of a liability for Warner Bros, according to a new report from TheWrap. Industry insiders told TheWrap that insurers for forthcoming projects starring Affleck will want a substantial amount of the film’s budget set aside in escrow as a deductible.
“More than likely the studio will replace him because the insurance costs are going to go through the roof,” a representative for a completion bond company told TheWrap. “He would be bondable, but the deductible would be really high, probably the budget of the film.”
As such, the cost to insure the forthcoming Justice League sequel could exceed $150 million on a budget of $300 million.
Publicly, Warner Bros. has expressed a desire to stick with Affleck, saying in a statement last year: “Ben is our Batman. We love him as Batman. We want to keep him in the cowl as long as we can.”
However, behind the scenes studio executives have reportedly pondered an exit strategy. Already Affleck stepped down as the writer and director of a standalone Batman film. His replacement, Matt Reeves, is hoping to begin production on the project early next year, but has thus far remained coy about Affleck’s involvement. However, previous reports suggested Reeves was eyeing a younger actor to play the Cape Crusader.
As of now, Affleck is still attached to star in the upcoming Justice League sequel, and has called himself “the luckiest guy in the world” for having the opportunity to play “the coolest part in the universe.” How long that opportunity lasts not only depends on Affleck’s own recovery, but whether Warner Bros. believes his involvement is worthy of the exuberant price tag.
We’ll keep you updated.