Ben Affleck's portrayal of Batman took the character on a darker and different path than audiences expected (and, for some, than they appreciated) in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Since then, he's appeared in Suicide Squad, will take on the gigantic task of uniting the Justice League in 2017 and has a solo movie coming up.
The latter has been the most mysterious aspect in the Caped Crusader's DC Extended Universe future: The lack of an official release date has been torturing fans for almost a year. Well, thanks to Time Warner CEO, Jeff Bewkes, we know we can expect Batman surprisingly soon. During the 25th Annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, Bewkes said this:
“The reboot of Batman with Ben Affleck was a big success. He’s going to be EP on Justice League and that’s helpful to that team.”
Shortly after, Bewkes made all our hearts stop with a time frame for the highly-anticipated, Ben Affleck-starring solo Batman movie:
“Ben announced a Batman movie [that] he’s going to direct, star, write for - I think it’s a year and a half out. So, the strategy worked.”
Okay, now that I can breathe again: I was very surprised when I heard this. Was the movie that has been (largely) kept under wraps far enough in development to hit theaters so soon? Fortunately, we have quite a few pieces of information regarding the highly-anticipated project so let's round up everything we know about it and find out:
Ben Affleck Is Directing And Writing The Movie Alongside Geoff Johns
If the fact that Ben Affleck writing the solo Batman movie doesn't get you excited, how about him writing it alongside DC's own boy wonder, Geoff Johns? During a live recording of his podcast, Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith revealed this interesting tidbit about the upcoming movie's writing forces:
"He's been working on a solo script with Geoff Johns, as well. Last conversation I had with Geoff Johns, I was like, ‘Are you working on it?’ and he said yeah. I said, ‘What's it like, man? How do you co-write with someone?’ And he's going, ‘We just break it up. He takes halves and I take halves and then we write. And then we switch material. And then he goes over mine and I go over his.’"
If Ben Affleck and DC extraordinaire Geoff Johns combining writing skills to craft the new Batman movie doesn't get you excited, I don't know what will. Hopefully, their combined talent and style helps makes this new adaptation of the Caped Crusader one of the best ones we've seen.
Joe Manganiello Is Playing The Main Antagonist: Deathstroke
Fans have been clamoring for Deathstroke to appear on the big screen for years. Thankfully, our prayers have been answered as the merciless mercenary (say that three times fast) and assassin has been confirmed as the main baddie Batman will be facing in his solo film. It all started a few weeks ago when Ben Affleck posted this video on Instagram:
While the footage seemed to be from Justice League, as the mercenary is in one of the vehicles expected to debut in the movie, fans speculated on whether or not this short, cryptic footage was a tease for the Batman movie. A week later, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer, Geoff Johns, confirmed that the mercenary would appear in Batman and that Joe Manganiello would put on the eye patch and bulletproof armor.
So, beware Batsy, Deathstroke is coming for you.
Batman Will Have To Deal With A Lot Of Villains
Batman has one of the most iconic rogues gallery of all superheroes and the new movie will take full advantage of them. Back in May, Birth.Movies.Death reported that their sources had revealed the highly-anticipated film would be filled with Bat-villains:
"Many, if not most, members of Batman's rogue's gallery will be making appearances in the film. It's going to be crammed with Bat villains, which means that just about every major bad guy you've ever wanted to see in a movie will be in this movie. According to my sources Affleck and Geoff Johns, who has been working with him on the film, want to make the definitive Batman film. They want to tell the ultimate Batman story, and to do so they're going to bring in all the big guns. They're going to have a big, sprawling Bat universe already in place."
Birth.Movies.Death is usually a reliable source of information so that gives me confidence in that we will see the Caped Crusader encounter plenty deranged individuals. Batman's antagonists are diverse, colorful and completely frightening so seeing several of them in one movie has me counting down the days comprising that 18-month timeframe.
We Will At Least Visit The Infamous Arkham Asylum
One of Batman's seminal aspects is the ever-frightening Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, more commonly just called Arkham Asylum. Since Batman Begins hit theaters in 2005, fans (like myself) have been eagerly awaiting an accurate portrayal of the institution.
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A few months ago, Batman on Film reported that Ben Affleck was taking inspiration for the script from Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on A Serious Earth. The site also stated that the film would be entirely set in the institution. With the previous report of many villains appearing in the movie, it was something we could see happening.
However, last week, Umberto Gonzalez took to Twitter to tell fans that Batman would not actually be set entirely in Arkham Asylum. They key word for that being "entirely". While these reports are conflicting regarding the time spent in the institution, they never contradict each other in one thing: We will get to at least visit the DCEU's version of Arkham Asylum in the film.
Can We Expect An Official Release Date Soon?
This type of revelations often come with a hard time for the people dropping them as they are sometimes things they shouldn't have said or are completely unsubstantiated. However, having Time Warner's CEO casually giving us a time frame for when we should expect the movie and, considering all the development we know has been put into it, it's okay to take his words seriously. Of course, we do have to keep in mind the unpredictable nature of the business. Things are always changing.
However, with a big portion of the plot certainly set, a person closely involved with the project talking about a release window for it and Ben Affleck's version of the Caped Crusader being everyone's favorite aspect of the DCEU, I am confident the new solo Batman movie is a top priority for Warner Bros. And, surely, this also means we will get an official release date soon.
Do you think we'll be getting the solo Batman movie in a year and a half?