From Wonder Woman to Captain Marvel, setting superhero films in the past seems to be the biggest trend in comic book movies. Now, it looks like Batman's next cinematic adventure could take DC’s Dark Knight to a bygone era for his next solo film.
According to a report from Discussing Film, Matt Reeves’s The Batman script is in itsfinal stages, with Reeves putting the finishing touches on the story. That report also suggests that the film will take Batman to a new, yet familiar era: the '90s.
Considering the current state of the DC Extended Universe, targeting a '90s setting like Captain Marvel is a revealing move. Ben Affleck's Batman, who appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, was notably an older Batman than we’d seen on-screen before. It was established that he’d had a lengthy crime-fighting career and was coming out of retirement to face off with Superman.
The report of a ‘90s setting for the film could potentially indicate that the Bruce Wayne featured in The Batman isn’t a completely new character, but a younger version of the DCEU hero who we’ve already seen. Currently, the film is looking to cast a well-known actor in his late ‘20s to early ‘30s as the next Bruce Wayne. While setting that film in the ‘90s allows for an origin story to be told, it also allows a seasoned Batman to be an active crime-fighter in the present day.
It's also worth noting that Batman largely defined the '90s for superheroes on screen, with Tim Burton's Batman setting the stage for modern superhero movies in 1989. BvS even had an explicit reference to Batman's battle with the Penguin in 1992's Batman Returns.
While some of Batman’s greatest stories hail from the ‘90s, including "Knightfall" and "No Man’s Land," it’s unlikely these stories will factor in the upcoming film. Reeves’ script is said to be more of a "Batman: Year One" style script, with a neo-noir tone and emphasis on Batman’s detective skills.
While most Batman films either take place in the modern day or the near future, setting The Batman in the past would be a first for the franchise. However, other comic book movies have found success with setting films in other time periods. 20th Century Fox had a surprise hit with X-Men: First Class, which was set in the ‘60s, and Captain Marvel is flying to the height of box office success, thanks in part to ts '90s setting. Wonder Woman took place during World War I, and its sequel, Wonder Woman 1984 will take place in the mid-1980s.
Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman is scheduled for release on June 25, 2021.