The casting of Ben Affleck as Batman in the burgeoning DC Extended Universe was quite controversial when it happened back in 2013, but following Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck’s version of the Caped Crusader earned a large number of supporters. Many fans are excited to see the Oscar winner return to the role in next year’s Justice League, before starring in his own solo vehicle. Affleck is co-writing the script for that film with DC’s own Geoff Johns, and is in line to direct.
While on the promotional tour for his new film The Accountant (which opens October 14), Affleck mentioned that the DCEU’s first Batman standalone would simply be titled The Batman. At the time, he said that is essentially the movie’s working title and could be altered down the line, but many viewers have already adapted that moniker for the project. In a new interview, Affleck reiterated his previous statements, revealing that nothing has been finalized just yet.
Taking part in a Facebook Live video on E! News, Affleck once again addressed his upcoming Batman film and how far along it is in development:
“I mentioned the other day… it’s been around for a long time, but the movie… there is no Batman movie happening yet, we’re still trying to figure it out, you know, get the script and budget and all that stuff. And someone said, ‘what are you calling it?’ and I had said, like, back when we were promoting another movie, I was like ‘we don’t have a name for it, we’re just going with The Batman or Batman movie’, and I said that, and everyone was like ‘Affleck announces the name of his Batman movie.’”
Warner Bros. believes that The Batman is 18 months out (most likely, from starting production), but the studio has yet to secure an official release date for the movie. This can probably be attributed Affleck not wanting to move forward on it until he is completely happy with the screenplay. While the three DCEU installments to date have all posted strong box office numbers, the results have been far more mixed in terms of critical reception. With the arguably uneven stories and characterizations coming under fire, it’s understandable why Affleck would want to hold off until he was certain he had a quality narrative in place.
Ultimately, that’s what’s more important. Over the course of Hollywood history, there have been plenty of great films that sport awful titles, and if fans are disappointed with Affleck’s adaptation, it won’t matter if he gave it a terrific name. The Batman is certainly a plausible option, as it’s straightforward and enough of a departure from previous Batman films. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy relied more on the “Dark Knight” nickname than Batman, so there shouldn’t be any confusion if that’s the route Affleck takes.
As Affleck says, there’s still a lot to take care of before an official green light is given, but the pieces are slowly falling into place. It’s already been confirmed that Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke will serve as the main villain, and moviegoers will get to see more of Jeremy Irons’ Alfred Pennyworth and J.K. Simmons’ Commissioner Gordon. Several viewers are highly anticipating The Batman (or whatever it ends up being called), but patience is a virtue fans must practice here. By now, Affleck has earned enough clout as a filmmaker to take his time, and if the man behind a Best Picture winner isn’t ready yet, then he shouldn’t be rushed.
Suicide Squad is now playing in theaters. Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017, followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020. The Flash, The Batman, Dark Universe and Man of Steel 2 are currently without a release dates.