This past week, writer/director Matt Reeves talked the most about his upcoming solo Batman film that he has in quite some time. However, if we take a close look at it, he really didn’t say anything new. Here’s what we do know…
- It’s a “DC Universe Movie” by virtue of it being a Batman film, but will focus specifically on the Batman sector of DC on film — i.e. “The Bat-Universe.”
- It’s going to be “noir-driven,” where Batman is focusing on personal, and specific case, and “takes us out into the world of Gotham.”
- Ben Affleck is “still involved;” though Reeves and Warner Bros. have yet to say that he’s returning and will play Batman/Bruce Wayne in THE BATMAN.
- Filming might start in the spring or summer of 2019.
And that’s basically it…except that Reeves’ Batman is going to be younger. Granted, Reeves hasn’t said that publicly, but the trade reports saying so are not “just rumors.”
Taking all of that into account, what will THE BATMAN be? Here are the options…
- A sequel of sorts featuring an older Batman set after the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE.
- A prequel featuring a younger Batman set years before the events of BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE.
- A complete reboot featuring a completely new Batman on film continuity.
Of course, there are “combinations” of these three options that involve things such as recasting the lead actor and how to handle, ahem, “continuity.” Let’s break them down, shall we?
I find this the least likely possibility whether Ben Affleck returns, or if Reeves recasts and a new actor plays the same Batman/Bruce Wayne. In fact, I think the percentage of this happening is the same as John “Bluto” Blutarsky’s GPA in ANIMAL HOUSE.
Why? That would be due to good ‘ol continuity! If Reeves’ Batman is a decade-plus younger than the Batman in BvS and JL, and his film is technically in-continuity, then it can not take place after those two movies.
This one’s going to have, well, “sub-options,” OK? Also, I believe one of these sub-options will prove to be the route Mr. Reeves takes with THE BATMAN.
OPTION #2/SUB-OPTION #1
Matt Reeves 100% adheres to the continuity and aesthetic set up by BATMAN v SUPERMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE, casts an actor who is the same, but younger, version of the one we saw in those two films.
I’m not thinking this is going to happen.
Why? Because Matt Reeves didn’t sign onto this project to make a Batman film in which he’d be creatively restricted and pigeonholed towards a continuity-demanded ultimate endgame.
Also, if you’re a fan of DC films being inter-connected, keep in mind that if Reeves went this route, the only character that would co-exist this younger, DC on film Batman is Wonder Woman (and that is only because it was retconned after BvS). Remember, the world didn’t know about any of the metahumans (The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and Superman) until BvS.
OPTION #2/SUB-OPTION #2
It’s a “prequel” in name only. Essentially, Reeves casts a younger actor as Batman and “soft-reboots” (i.e. “conveniently ignores” BvS and JL) the franchise going forward.
I find this option a sorta “win-win” for fans and the audience. Continuity/shared universe fans can believe that this Batman lives in a world inhabited by other DC characters, while those who don’t like that stuff won’t have it shoved down their throats (i.e. cameos, Easter eggs, post-credits scenes, setting up other films, etc.). Also, it allows Matt Reeves to have a lot of creative control — something he allegedly wanted if he signed on and was given.
I’ve actually advocated this approach before here on BOF and I think that it’s very possible that it’s what Reeves and WB are going to do.
This is my personal preferred choice. A 100%, total reboot of the Batman film franchise that has zero ties to anything other than the Bat-Universe that it establishes. New Batman, Batmobile, Alfred, Gordon, Gotham, Bat-everything.
Currently, I’d say that this option is possible, but not likely as one of the few stipulations Warner Bros. out on Reeves was to “officially” keep it in the DC on film universe.
I guess it’s possible that Reeves’ Batman film(s) are one of these DC “Black Label” deals like director Todd Phillips’ JOKER starring Joaquin Phoenix, but I’m not thinking that’s probably not happening.
To sum up, my personal preference is Option #3, but if I were a betting man, I’d put my money on Option #2/Sub-Option #2. And though I’m a big Ben Affleck fan, I think it’s best for his era as Batman to be totally done. Both my preference and what I think will happen means he’s gone.
So BOF’ers, setting what you want aside, which route to you think Reeves and Warner Bros. will ultimately take? Vote in the Bat-Poll and discuss in the comments section below! – Bill “Jett” Ramey