ByMichael Johnson, writer at Creators.co
I'm a regular guy with regular opinons about regular things.
Michael Johnson

It appears that Ben Affleck’s The Batman had some contradictory reports that suggested a possible 2017 filming date. In fact, there’s a chance we may not see a Batman solo film at all. In fact, there’s a chance we may not see a Batman solo film at all.

During an interview with the Guardian, Ben Affleck had this to say about a solo Batman caper:

“That’s the idea. But it’s not a set thing and there’s no script. If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great, I’m not going to do it.”

It appears that Ben Aflleck wants to make sure that his vision for is just that, his vision. We’ve seen what Affleck is capable of when he’s in control, so let's hope WB makes this happen. However, what if they don’t, what if The Batman never happens? We have to ask ourselves… Do we really need a Batman solo flick? If not then how does The Dark Knight fit into the DCEU?

No Batman Solo Flick No Problem

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Credit: Warner Bros/DC)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Credit: Warner Bros/DC)

Not to say that seeing the ’s depiction of Batman isn’t welcomed, but it surely isn’t a necessity. Batman has been part of pop culture since the late 60s, with Adam West first playing the billion-dollar playboy. He was a pioneer and embodied a different, more comedic side of The Caped Crusader. But, who can forget the iconic performances from Michael Keaton some 20 years later in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Keaton’s portrayal of Batman was legendary and he set the bar impossibly high for anyone who’d dare don the black cape. Sorry George Clooney; to no fault of your own, but Batman Forever "sucked". Keaton’s words, not mine.

That was until 2005, when Chris Nolan gave us Batman Begins starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne. This new origin was a darker take on Gotham’s caped hero and gave fans a much-needed reintroduction to one of ’s most popular heroes. Nolan and Bale’s work spawned two additional movies (The Dark Knight and the The Dark Knight Rises) each one arguably as good or better than the previous film. So, why again do we need to see yet another Batman movie?.

There’s So Much More to Gotham Than Batman

Arkham Knight (Credit: WGGames)
Arkham Knight (Credit: WGGames)

Warner Bros. has given us a Batman series without Batman with Fox’s crime thriller Gotham. Technically there is a Bruce Wayne, but the show mainly focuses on the story of a young James ‘Jim’ Gordan (Ben McKenzie) trying to protect the citizens of Gotham. I, for one, am a big fan, my wife and I watch it religiously, and if that’s not enough to convince you, maybe its Rotten Tomatoes ratings will help:

“With the success of Gotham Warner Bros. has proven with that there’s more to talk about than just Batman in a world that’s dominated by the vigilante.”

As a matter fact, the DCEU will look to exploit Gotham without Batman in Margot Robbie’s Gotham City Sirens. The team of David Ayer, Margot Robbie, Geoff Johns and Jon Berg will tell a story about an all-female antihero or villain team in Gotham City that will feature Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman. Though it’s merely just speculative, I’d imagine Batman would be absent in this movie, which leads me to my next point.

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In Batman's Absence Another Hero Can Arise

(Credit: DC Comics)
(Credit: DC Comics)

Should the solo movie fail, maybe, just maybe, the DCEU could shift its focus to the other Gotham City legend, the first Robin: Dick Grayson. After many years as Bruce’s protégé, Dick was fed up and decided he needed to become a man of his own, becoming the protector of Blüdhaven. For a time in the 90s, Dick Grayson - now - held his own in the comics. However, Batman’s former sidekick would return to Gotham to protect his city as Batman post Infinite Crisis.

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In addition to Dick Grayson, there are more Bat-family members for the DCEU to depict and focus on. Also, there are quite a few stories could exploit that wouldn’t require much Batman’s presence. For example, if done correctly The Night of the Owls could feature Batman, but focus on a number of other elements like his son Damien Wayne (Robin), , and Nightwing trying to rescue a captured Batman. There also the possibility of a film which will focus on Barbara Gordon as Oracle and her team for heroes also protecting .

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Bruce Wayne Could Be DCEU’s Nick Fury

One thing we’ve learned form the Justice League trailer is the Bruce is a recruiter and it appears that he may be primarily responsible for putting the Justice League together. Bruce has one hell of a way of recruiting Barry.

Justice League (Credit: Warner Bros.)
Justice League (Credit: Warner Bros.)

Take away the cape, modulated voice, bulky 6’4 frame, add an eye patch and BAM, Bruce Wayne instantly becomes Nick Fury. has used Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) in multiple films, but never as a featured hero. It could work the same way for Batman. was able to do so by using him sparingly via flashback sequences. Should there be a problem that hinders Ben from making his movie the way he sees fit, there is always room to feature him in a mentoring, hard-nosed role that makes him look cool and leaves you wanting more.

Suicide Squad (Credit: Warner Bros.)
Suicide Squad (Credit: Warner Bros.)

I for one, hope we see in full control of a solo movie. There are so many stories and many characters that could benefit from said movie. Still, the DCEU won’t fail if The Caped Crusader doesn’t get the solo spotlight. There is plenty to offer and we just have to hope Warner Bros. understands and utilizes what they have at their disposal. Right now it seems like Ben just wants The Batman done right, and so do we. At least we get to see Ben Affleck in action November 17, 2017 in Justice League.

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