Ever since the release of Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, fans have been full of praise for Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader. The veteran actor proved himself to be a worthy Dark Knight in the DCEU film, and will return to the cowl later this year in Justice League before presumably leading the character's upcoming solo film, The Batman — despite a number of pre-production false alarms and hiccups.
However, in a July interview with Los Angeles' radio station KCRW (that spread to reddit and blew up this week), director Matt Reeves unveiled some potentially shocking news about the film's place in the #DCEU. Reeves commented:
"Well, I have a vision for a way to do something with that character that feels like it resonates with me personally, and a perspective that can grow out into other things. When they [Warner Bros.] approached me, what they said was ‘look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.'"
While we already knew that Warner Bros. was trusting Reeves to do his own thing with the film, his comments about The Batman being a standalone suggest that the Dark Knight's solo outing won't be a part of the connected Justice League universe. Moreover, this raises some troubling questions about Affleck's role in the film.
Has Warner Bros. Given Up On The Idea Of A Shared Universe?
Reeves' comments about The Batman come less than a day after it was revealed that Warner Bros. have greenlit a Martin Scorsese-produced Joker origin story. While that sounds unusual enough, the most jarring thing about the film is that it won't be a part of the DCEU either — and thus, won't feature Jared Leto's Joker.
With two of the biggest Batman characters now potentially getting their own standalone films instead of DCEU entries, we have to wonder if Warner Bros. has given up on the DCEU itself. After all, the vast majority of DCEU films have received overwhelmingly negative reviews. And while #WonderWoman turned the tide, perhaps the studio is afraid of more critical failures.
With both the Joker origin story film and The Batman potentially taking place outside of the DCEU, are those two movies connected? Is Warner Bros. attempting to set up a separate Bat-Family universe instead? Or will there be three DC movie universes at the same time? Let's not forget that Warner Bros. previously green-lit solo films for Nightwing and Batgirl. Are they still part of the DCEU?
Also, what would that mean for Gal Gadot's box office-smashing Diana? Is this somehow connected to The Flash: Flashpoint possibly rebooting the DCEU timeline without "Batfleck"?
Is it even possible that Reeves misspoke, and by "not part of the extended universe," he simply meant that no other DCEU superheroes besides Ben Affleck's Batman appear in the movie, even though it's set in the DCEU?
With Wonder Woman 2, Suicide Squad 2 and Gotham City Sirens still in the works, and Aquaman filming alongside Joss Whedon's Justice League reshoots, it's unlikely that Warner Bros. has given up on the DCEU altogether — but they absolutely need to clarify what's going on before fans give up on it out of sheer confusion.
Do you think Warner Bros. is going to end the DCEU? Let us know in the comments below!