Things have been pretty quiet on The Batman front lately. The long-planned DCEU Batman solo movie has had to deal with multiple directors, multiple scripts, and the ongoing question of whether or not its potential star, Ben Affleck (who at one point was set to direct) is even still the star of the movie or not. Affleck has already donned the cape and cowl for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, and it seemed natural that he’d get a solo adventure in The Batman, but every few weeks, new, often contradictory information surfaces that either ties him to the project, or says he has walked away from Bruce Wayne.
Last year, Matt Reeves was hired to write and direct The Batman for Warner Bros., but the project hasn’t shown much forward momentum in public. Reeves didn’t exactly put the Affleck issue to rest, but he did say that the actor is “still involved” and tried to clear up a couple of points. For one thing, with Warner Bros‘ assorted DC movies now apparently free to explore different takes on the character. Our last article covered the Joker origin movie with Joaquin Phoenix, which will have nothing to do with the version of the villain introduced in Suicide Squad for an example), whatever The Batman may be, it’s still part of the main continuity. “There are ways in which this connects to the DC universe as well and we’re one of many pieces,” Reeves said.
Reeves also addressed the unfounded rumour that this movie would be an adaptation of Batman: Year One, the Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli story which heavily influenced Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins.
“We are definitely not doing Year One. It’s just exciting to be focused on a tale that’s defining for Batman and is very personal to him, but at the same time…obviously we’re not doing any origin tales or anything like that. We’re doing a story that is definitely Batman, emotional, and him being the world’s greatest detective, and all the things that for me since I was a kid, made me love Batman.” Reeves said.
Reeves describes the movie as “A very point of view noir-driven definitive Batman story in which he is investigating a particular case and that takes us out into the world of Gotham,” added Reeves. “I went on a deep dive again revisiting all my favourite comics. Those all inform by osmosis. There’s no continuation of the Nolan films. It’s very much trying to find a way to do this as something that for me is going to be definitively Batman and new and cool.” Reeves also indicated that his script for The Batman may have a first draft finished within a few weeks, which may allow the project to begin production early next year.
Of course, this still leaves plenty of questions. While not an adaptation of Batman: Year One, it might still be a prequel, perhaps allowing a younger actor to take over as Batman. Even with Affleck “still involved” that could mean as a producer, or perhaps as an older Bruce Wayne reflecting on a case from his younger days. It’s the kind of approach that would allow Affleck a graceful exit from the character if that’s what he has been looking for.
There is no release date set for The Batman, and at this point, it seems unlikely we’ll see it before 2021.