A new Batman movie is a bit like the Olympic games — it comes around once every four years, makes us all like America, offers heroes and villains, and (at least in Christopher Nolan's case) lasts about two weeks. The second it's over, we start thinking about the next one.
You might remember the last (proper) Batman movie. It was called The Dark Knight Rises, and it was pretty damn good. In my opinion, there hasn't been a better superhero movie since, despite Marvel's best efforts... and, uhh, Suicide Squad. If expectations for the next one are high, it's probably Nolan's fault and certainly nothing to do with Batman v Superman, which went down like a cup of Granny's Peach Tea (but still made all the money).
Here's the bottom line: Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie needs to be good. More than good, it needs to be a minor classic, the movie that justifies the entire DCEU. Let's take a look at everything we know so far about The Batman. News updates will be posted in the section immediately below.
The Batman: News, Rumors & Theories
12/6/16: The Batman Coming July 2018
Warner Bros. recently shifted Aquaman from its July 2018 slot to October of that year, suggesting a swap with the Batman solo movie. Joe Manganiello, who plays Deathstroke, reckons "it's going to be gritty, action-packed and cerebral... not just a great superhero movie, but a great movie." Damn, I'm sold.
Previous update: Problems with the script?
It wouldn't be a movie in the DCEU if it wasn't plagued by rumors of script troubles. According to American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis, friends of his who work as movie execs say Affleck's script has major problems. Click below to read the full story, but remember to take this one with an enormous pinch of salt.
Fan theories are a bit light on the ground at this point, but this one questions Lex Luthor's potential involvement with Deathstroke...
The Batman: Cast & Characters
Right now there are four names confirmed for the solo Batfleck movie. Affleck himself returns as the Caped Crusader, obviously, while Jeremy Irons is back as the ever-loyal Alfred. J.K. Simmons has a minor role in Justice League as Commissioner Jim Gordon, but should have a far bigger role to play in this movie.
By now the whole world is aware that Joe Manganiello (star of True Blood, but perhaps better known as the outrageously handsome husband of the outrageously gorgeous Sofia Vergara) will suit up as Deathstroke the Terminator. Deathstroke is a big character — a ruthless mercenary with a sick costume and a fearsome arsenal of weapons. Like Bane before him, he's the kind of villain who will force Batman to think tactically. You know this is gonna be good.
Will We Meet The Justice League In The Batman?
What are the chances of any members of the Justice League appearing in Gotham for The Batman? So far there's been no whisper of any crossover, but it's not hard to imagine Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman lending a helping hand. Timeline-wise, the events of The Batman happen after Justice League and before the JL sequel, so these characters are most likely still in each others lives. Wait and see, basically.
Is Zack Snyder Involved?
The Batman v Superman and Justice League director has a producer's credit on The Batman, but make no mistake — Affleck is nobody's puppet. This man won an Oscar for (the incredible) Argo and he agreed to star in and direct a solo Batman movie on the condition that he would have complete creative control.
Affleck is collaborating with Geoff Johns on the film's story and script. Johns is the DCEU's chief creative overlord, the man who has the final say on everything, and also one of DC Comics's finest writers over the last decade or so. Fair to say the omens are good with this one.
Is It Really Called The Batman?
The Batman is perhaps not the most imaginative of titles, but it's stuck, and last month Affleck himself used the name in an interview. Since then he's back-tracked, claiming the film has no set title yet. Jury's out on this one, folks.
The Batman: Trailer & Release Date
Well, you should probably wait for it to start filming first. If the shoot begins Q1 2017 as Manganiello claims, and with a free DC release date of July 27, 2018, you can probably expect a The Batman trailer to arrive around Christmas 2017 — a lovely gift from DC to us, handwrapped by the Batfleck himself.
All news updates, new rumors and trailer drops will be posted in the news section near the top of the page. Keep checking back, and tell me...
Can The Batman possibly top Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy?