With rumours still swirling that Ben Affleck may soon be departing the role of Batman in the DC Universe, particularly on the heels of sour reviews for his performance in Justice League, it has been reported that Jake Gyllenhaal is already being lined up to replace him.

According to Collider journalist John Campea, Gyllenhaal has met with director Mark Reeves, who is attached to direct a Batman solo vehicle. But he pressed that Gyllenhaal's involvement in the project is far from a done deal.

"That is the name that was floated," he said. "There has been some conversations, but it's not a sure thing this is happening. It's not a lock, it may not happen."

Gyllenhaal is no stranger to superhero rumours, having once been lined up to replace Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2 after he was waylaid by a back injury. He was also one of many actors to audition for Batman Begins, ultimately losing the Caped Crusader role to Christian Bale.

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But Gyllenhaal has appeared reluctant to step into long-running franchises in recent years, previously shutting down rumours linking him to Marvel.

He told Metro last year: "I just don't think I would fit there. As I get older I am much less interested in hoping people see me in a certain way and more interested in just doing whatever I'm doing. They can like it or not. This is where I am."

Whether he has any interest or not, DC has actively courted Gyllenhaal in recent years, offering him the role of Rick Flag in Suicide Squad after Tom Hardy dropped out of the project. Gyllenhaal luckily dodged that bullet, and the role went to the significantly less starry Joel Kinnaman.

Ben Affleck (centre) as Batman in a scene from Justice League. Photo / Warner Bros via AP
Ben Affleck (centre) as Batman in a scene from Justice League. Photo / Warner Bros via AP

Affleck's stint as Batman has been in question for several months, ever since it was announced that he was stepping down from directing a solo Batman project. His script for the film was also dropped. The Hollywood Reporter also claimed in July that DC were looking to "usher Affleck out of the role gracefully."

Affleck denied the claims at this year's Comic Con, however, saying during a panel: "Let me be clear. I'm the luckiest guy. Batman is the coolest f------ part in any universe - DC, Marvel. I'm so excited to do it. I think there's this misconception that because I'm not directing it I'm not doing it, but I'm so excited to be Batman."

Campea also suggested in his vlog that the decision to remove Affleck from the franchise was decided at the very beginning of 2017, with an official announcement being delayed until after the release of Justice League, so as to avoid bad press.

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