What is going on with The Batman?
It’s something that we’ve asked ourselves almost daily since Ben Affleck announced he was stepping down as the film’s director, the catalyst for Warner Bros.’ DC woes. It wasn’t long after Affleck’s announcement that rumors began circling questioning his continued involvement in the project. Warner Bros. denied it and Affleck embraced the character during an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con last month, but there have since been contradictory reports. Affleck’s own brother, Casey, seemed adamant that his brother wasn’t going to star in The Batman, but later walked back his remarks.
When director Matt Reeves sat down on a podcast to talk about The Batman, he said the movie was a stand-alone — something we’ve always known. But that was before new reports emerged that Warner Bros. was starting a new banner for its DC films. Martin Scorsese and Todd Phillips (The Hangover) are reportedly working on a new stand-alone Joker movie that will have nothing to do with the DCU. Jared Leto will not play the character and it doesn’t have to exist within the same continuity that other stand-alone movies, like the Wonder Woman sequel or Suicide Squad 2, have to.
Examining Reeves comments after the news got people thinking: Would The Batman exist within this new banner? And if it does, what does that mean for Affleck’s future as Batman?
In an attempt to clean this whole mess up, Reeves tweeted out a clarification of his statements today.
“Of course Batman will be part of the D.C. Universe,” Reeves wrote. “Batman will be Batman. In my comments from a while back about not being part of the DCEU, I was talking about The Batman being a story specifically about Batman, not about the others in the Universe. That it wouldn't be filled with cameos servicing other stories — that it would be a Batman story.”
Reeves comments seem to confirm that, much like Wonder Woman, The Batman will have to abide by the rules set in place by the DCU. With Affleck still on board to play the character, The Batman will continue his storyline that we’ve seen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Justice League.
Still, there’s little doubt that something fishy is going on at Warner Bros. (not just Aquaman). Keeping up with the development of each film has become tough to navigate. As it stands right now, The Batman exists in the same universe that Man of Steel, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman and Justice League do.
Justice League will be released on Nov. 17.