Ever since the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the future of Ben Affleck's Batman as part of the DC Extended Universe has been a big question mark. We knew the actor was set to appear in the Justice League film, a production that had already been cut down from a two-parter in a single movie. Then, beyond that, we knew that War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was set to direct a new solo Batman film, but Affleck's participation in the project was never confirmed.
The actor, who was once attached to write, direct and star in a solo Batman film, is now reportedly on his way out. But what does that mean for future Batman films? Well, according to a new rumor, it might signify a reboot of the character, albeit one that could still become a part of the shared movies of the DCEU if proven successful.
On the El Fanboy Podcast, Mario-Francisco Robles, the Editor-in-Chief of Revenge of the Fans, divulged rumblings he has heard about through the Warner Bros./DCEU grapevine. "Essentially, they want to develop this Batman movie as if it is a reboot," Robles said. "But they're not gonna make any overt statements about it. They're just gonna make a movie about a younger Batman." Considering we had already heard reports and rumors that Reeves' film is set to feature a new, younger Batman, this all seems to track. But this is where things get really interesting. Robles continued by saying "I believe it takes place in the past, which will create a backdoor for if they ever do want to cross-pollinate him with the other DC characters again."
It's difficult to deduce how a rebooted Batman could once again cross-pollinate with the other DCEU characters, especially after they have all fought side-by-side together already, but it seems like the main focus is to make a strong standalone outing for the Dark Knight first. "They're going to make Batman as his own standalone franchise, they're gonna basically start him over again to a degree," Robles said. "But they're going to leave a back door open so that, depending on how the next few DC movies do, from there, they can decide which continuity he's a part of and whether or not they're gonna push forward on the shared concept and do more crossover movies."
As it stands, it appears as if nothing is set in stone yet. It all will depend on how the next crop of DCEU films perform, and how this new Batman is received.
Matt Reeves’ Batman solo film does not have a production start date, nor does it have an official cast or release date. The film is expected to arrive sometime in 2020 at the earliest. Next up on the DCEU docket is James Wan’s Aquaman, which is slated for release Dec. 21, David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, which hits theaters April 5, 2019 and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984, which drops Nov. 1, 2019.