Ben Affleck’s The Batman has taken a long, winding road to get to the big screen. Since his casting as the Dark Knight, it had been speculated that he would be writing and directing the next Batman movie set in the DCEU. Those rumors turned out to be true when he was announced to be writing the film with DC’s Geoff Johns and had been tapped by Warner Bros. to direct the film as well with a planned 2018 release date.
Over the past few months, however, the project has traveled a rocky road with Affleck stepping down from directing duties and Matt Reeves hired to replace him. Rumors then circulated that the actor was looking for a way to exit playing the character and that his screenplay was being rewritten from scratch. Both of those rumors were denied, however, and Affleck was still scheduled to appear as the Dark Knight.
Now according to /Film, the rumor about the screenplay being rewritten from the bottom up may very well turn out to be true after all. Along with the news that Reeves won’t begin production on The Batman until 2018 (due to the fact that he’s focused on his current film War for the Planet of the Apes) the outlet’s sources indicate the production is being rewritten from scratch.
This is still just a rumor — and one we’ve heard before — but it is in line with everything we know so far. The delayed production schedule and that one of the key points in Matt Reeves’ contract with Warners was to have complete control and final say on the film. This seems to indicate that the director has his own ideas of what a Batman film should be, but it should be noted that there doesn’t seem to be any new writer attached to the film yet. So take this all with a grain of salt.
It has been reported in the past that everyone was happy with the screenplay but that is no guarantee that it was any good. Even if the rumor is true and The Batman gets a page one rewrite it is still possible that elements of the previous version will seep into the new one and Joe Manganiello may still play the villain Deathstroke in the film. Having said that, it’s equally as possible that Reeves has had a vision for a perfect Batman film long before he was ever even approached to direct the film.
There’s also that pesky problem that Justice League 2 was knocked out of its 2019 release date slot to make way for The Batman. With Reeves unable to start filming until 2018 at the earliest and a new screenplay possibly pushing a release date for The Batman to 2019 or beyond, it’s anyone’s guess as to when we might see the League team up again.