THE BATMAN Aims for 2021 & Talks Casting (But Not BEN AFFLECK)

Ben Affleck in Batman V Superman
Credit: Warner Bros.
Matt Reeves
Matt Reeves
Credit: DFree /

The Batman writer/director Matt Reeves has offered new details of his in-development standalone Batman film, including how the film will differ from previous takes on Batman on film - and how it could fit with other DC movies.

"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional," Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. The comics have a history of that."

"He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been," Reeves continued. "I'd love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it's going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation."

As for the film itself, its title - and place alongside other planned DC movies - is still a work in progress.

"Right now, I'm involved in The Batman. What it will be called ultimately, I don't know," Reeves explained. "Aquaman is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips Joker movie, and that's going to be different from Shazam! and Harley Quinn."

"Warners believes they don't have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it's going to connect,"he added. "What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters."

This seems to leave the door open to further crossovers between Batman and other DC characters, though it also indicates Warner Bros. may be leaving the full-on "shared universe" model behind. It's unclear whether the Harley Quinn film Reeves references is the currently in-production Birds of Prey (and the Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) or another film with the character attached.

There's still one big lingering question surrounding The Batman - who will be under the title character's cowl. THR reports that Reeves wouldn't address whether Ben Affleck, who portrayed Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League would continue in the role. Last time Reeves addressed the question in August 2018, Affleck was "still involved."

In terms of the rest of the cast, Reeves says that casting will begin soon for what Reeves describes as a tentative 2021 release window - and that Batman will face a "Rogues Gallery" in the film.

"There will be a Rogues Gallery," Reeves confessed. "The casting process will begin shortly. We're starting to put together our battle plan. I'm doing another pass on the script and we'll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things."

"We haven't been dated," Reeves clarified of The Batman's release window. "I wouldn't commit to this, but we're thinking the movie would probably be for 2021, late spring or summer. Warner Bros. has been incredibly supportive and given me a lot of time and shared the same passion that I do for this story."

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