This article has been completely updated to reflect the new situation now that Ben Affleck has dropped out of directing 'The Batman'.
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 (solo) 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 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.
Here's the bottom line: This 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
Updated 3/15/17: Matt Reeves Will Begin Shooting In 2018
Justin Kroll, the reliable Variety insider, reports that new director Matt Reeves will be hard at work on War For The Planet Of The Apes until at least July, and that The Batman is scheduled to begin filming in 2018. Read the story in full right here.
Ben Affleck also revealed this week that he'd spent some time in rehab seeking treatment for alcohol abuse. Hopefully the time between now and next year will be spent recuperating
Are The Justice League In 'The Batman'?
What are the chances of any members of the #JusticeLeague 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, and watch the first trailer for Justice League below in the meantime.
'The Batman': Fan Theories
Fan theories are a bit light on the ground at this point, but this one questions Lex Luthor's potential involvement with Deathstroke...
Who's Directing 'The Batman'?
In February 2017, after months of speculation about Ben Affleck's role, Warner Bros. confirmed that his solo Batman movie would instead be directed by Matt Reeves. Reeves directed the excellent Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes and its upcoming sequel, so The Batman is probably in safe hands. Rumors suggest he will rewrite the script, which was previously co-written by Ben Affleck and Chris Terrio.
'The Batman': Cast & Characters
Right now there are four names confirmed for the solo Batfleck movie. Affleck himself returns as the Caped Crusader, 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.
Is Zack Snyder Involved With 'The Batman'?
The Batman v Superman and Justice League director has a producer's credit on The Batman, but make no mistake — he does not have any major creative input over this Batman movie.
Affleck was 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, so expect the final script (likely rewritten by Reeves or Terrio) to be solid.
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.
The shoot was set to begin in early 2017, but will now enter production in 2018 instead. A release date of 2019 looks likely, either March, July or November.
All news updates, new rumors and trailer drops will be posted in the news section at the top of the page. Keep checking back, and tell me...
Are you worried about 'The Batman,' or it will be the biggest hit of the DCEU?