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 (but still made all the money).
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 2/1/17: The Hunt Is On For A New Director
As of this week, Ben Affleck has officially dropped out of directing the solo Batman movie (although he still plans to star in it). Despite promising recently that he would still direct, Affleck has officially decided to leave the chair open for a new director. For more on that...
Apparently Warner Bros. have a shortlist including Matt Reeves, who directed the upcoming War For The Planet Of The Apes, and Mad Max's George Miller.
Right now, it looks unlikely that we'll still get The Batman in 2018, but that would leave the DCEU with just one movie all year — Aquaman. We'll keep you in the loop about the hunt for a director and what this means for the movie's release date.
Previously: Jeremy Irons Teases More Alfred In 'The Batman'
Jeremy Irons reckons Alfred will finally get the chance to shine in The Batman.
"I have spoken to Ben. In 'Justice League,' we have seven superheroes, and that means Alfred’s not that busy in the movie. I said to Ben, 'I hope I’m busier in ['The Batman']'. And he said to me, 'You will be.' He knows my proclivities."
You don't hire an actor like Irons just to sit him on a stool in the corner of the room, so here's to Alfred actually having something to do.
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...
'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 creative control over this Batman movie, unless Warner Bros. decide to hire him as the new director. We'll see.
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. He may turn out to have a large say in the hiring of the new director and the development of the script.
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, presumably for the free DC release date of July 27, 2018, but with no director and an incomplete script, you'd have to be madder than The Riddler to bet on that going ahead as planned. A release date in 2019 now looks far more likely.
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?