The Struggle Behind the Scenes
By Kirsten Howard
As production continues on The Batman, we recap the film’s turbulent ups and downs so far.
All the way back in 2013, Ben Affleck was cast as the DCEU’s new big screen Batman.
Fans were unsure what Affleck would bring to the role of Bruce Wayne, as he had previously led a very different comic book adaptation — the critically panned Daredevil film.
Before audiences had a chance to see Affleck as Batman in two imminent team-up movies, he was given his own future standalone film, set to be released in 2018, which he would also write and direct.
After Affleck’s solid performance in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, excitement began to build around his solo film.
Affleck said that his upcoming Dark Knight movie was called The Batman, and True Blood star Joe Manganiello was reported to be co-starring in it as Deathstroke.
But it seemed all was not well behind the scenes, and Affleck soon stepped down from helming the project. War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was hired to replace him.
2018 was an awkward time for the film’s major players. Reeves’ new script for The Batman was rumored to be geared for a younger actor, while Affleck was heading to rehab for alcohol abuse treatment.
In January 2019, Affleck confirmed he was stepping down. By May, Twilight star Robert Pattinson was hired to play the Caped Crusader, and The Batman was officially cut off from the established DCEU.
The film was revealed to be a neo-noir Year 2 tale featuring Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne struggling to balance the darkness of vigilantism while dealing with villains like the Penguin and the Riddler.
Filming eventually got underway in January, 2020, but by March it had been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cast and crew had only been back in production for three days in September before Robert Pattinson tested positive for the virus.
Pattinson then returned to set after a period of self-isolation, and filming resumed in England.
Though the rules of mask-wearing and social distancing are fairly stringent in the U.K., The Batman had special permission to carry on filming there.
The battle to get The Batman finished continued, as studio Warner Bros. began eyeing a March 4, 2022 release date — four years after they originally hoped it would arrive.
Meanwhile, Affleck reportedly agreed to reprise his role as the DCEU version of Batman in The Flash’s multiverse-heavy solo movie.
While it will have taken almost a decade to make its journey to theatres, The Batman’s first trailer seems to promise a film that will be worth the wait.