Warner Bros. is currently working on bringing back a solo Batman franchise to the big screen. Ben Affleck has already made his debut as the Dark Knight in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and his performance was one of the standouts from an otherwise divisive film. This brought about much excitement for his solo film, The Batman, but after being bombarded with questions about the state of the film and dealing with a number of personal issues, he decided to walk away from directing duties.
Upon this revelation, it became less and less likely that The Batman could meet a previously “confirmed” 2018 release date. But, some still held out hope it could be possible after Warner Bros officially set Matt Reeves as the director. However, with his work on War for the Planet of the Apes taking precedence right now, The Batman won’t get off the ground until next year at the earliest.
Variety reporter Justin Kroll gave some insight to the production status of the highly anticipated blockbuster on Twitter today. According to what he has heard, Reeves will not be able to turn his attention to the film until after his current blockbuster is finished. Not only will this delay the supposed start of filming, but also withhold any casting announcements until later this year.
Dating back to last year (when Affleck was still attached to direct), plans were in motion for The Batman to begin filming this spring or summer, depending on which cast member was to be believed. This new report does come directly on the heels of Joe Manganiello saying production could still begin this summer. With so much changing recently behind-the-scenes, it is possible that he was not up to date on the latest developments, as Kroll’s report directly contradicts Manganiello’s statements.
This latest report is hardly surprising however. Even if Reeves spent part of his remaining time on War for the Planet of the Apes working on The Batman, he would not be able to give his full attention until after the press tour anyway. If he is in fact contracted to remain solely focused on his current film, then there is no chance any Batman news comes out in the coming months. This is something to keep in mind throughout the summer as there will undoubtedly be rumors about different actors possibly joining the film.
With production potentially starting in 2018, this should give Reeves and crew plenty of time to hit a 2019 release date. WB has also previously announced a June 14, 2019 date for an unannounced DC film. If Batman starts filming at the beginning of 2018, this very well could be the film’s ultimate landing spot – or at the very least a targeted date that could shift by a few weeks down the road. Regardless, it will be some time before a release date or any other concrete news will come out for The Batman, as long as everything runs smoothly from here on out.