We already know Ben Affleck won’t direct The Batman, instead choosing to focus on his starring role as the Caped Crusader. But what shape will the Bat’s solo flick take now that its presumed creative force has taken a back seat? According to a Forbes report, the answer from Warner Bros. might be to go back to the drawing board anew (and to hire Matt Reeves).
The creative and financial paths of the Batman franchise diverged recently. While Joe Manganiello was getting cast as the lead villain Deathstroke, a script by Affleck and DC Comics maestro Geoff Johns was touted, and a spring 2017 production start teased, Affleck waffled on his rather large responsibilities after weathering a long year that included Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, The Accountant, filming on Justice League, and the failure of his passion project Live by Night. Eventually, something had to give and it was Affleck’s directorial job.
Out of the article, which is of substantial length, here’s what we learned about The Batman.
- Matt Reeves “seems to be the frontrunner” to direct The Batman but Forbes adds “the project will essentially get a fresh start once a new creative team has been put together” under whoever the director ends up being.
- The Affleck/Johns The Batman script (which was recently rewritten by Argo and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice scribe Christ Terrio) supplemented Deathstroke will several other “likely” villains, including the Joker, though Jared Leto’s return is still up in the air.
- Hughes says his sources are all over the place on the script, from proposing “major rewrites” to “a completely new script,” plus even” starting from scratch on the story if that’s what it takes.”
That sound you just heard was Joe Manganiello’s nervous laughter.
The article goes on to speculate that the delay could set up The Batman for a summer 2019 release and allow Gotham City Sirens, the Harley Quinn-led supervillainess team-up that spins off of Suicide Squad, to take a late 2018/early 2019 place, potentially setting up Leto’s Joker for appearances in both. In the meantime, DC Films is focused on Wonder Woman and Justice League press, as well as Aquaman production, in 2017. In addition to The Batman and Gotham City Sirens, almost a dozen other DC projects are in development, including The Flash, Green Lantern Corps, Dark Universe, Suicide Squad 2, Man of Steel 2, Justice League 2, Shazam, Black Adam, and Cyborg.
Wonder Woman hits theaters June 2. Ben Affleck can be seen as the dark knight next in Justice League, opening November 17.