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.
Director Matt Reeves didn’t exactly put the Affleck issue to rest while speaking at TCA, 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 (see 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’s ways in which this connects to the DC universe as well and we’re one of many pieces,” Reeves said (via Deadline).
Reeves also addressed the unfounded rumor 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.
“I’m just excited 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 – but definitely Batman, emotional, and him being the world’s greatest detective,” Reeves said. That “world’s greatest detective” line should resonate with fans, as it’s how the character was often described in comics, and it’s an element of the character that has been missing from the big screen.
Reeves describes the movie as “noir-driven…Batman is investigating a particular case that takes us out into the world of Gotham.” This, along with that detective angle, almost makes it sound like we could be seeing a smaller-scale Batman movie than what we’ve become accustomed to. That would be a welcome change of pace.
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. The full DC superhero movie schedule can be found here.
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