Shortly after igniting the rapidly spreading rumor about purported "serious problems" with the script for Ben Affleck's Batman film, author Bret Easton Ellis has walked back his comments, clarifying, "I have no idea what the Batman script is like and I regret that it came off as if I was disparaging the project."
In a recent interview with The Ringer about the troubled state of studio films, the "American Psycho" author related a conversation he had with executives who indicated that Warner Bros. knows the script for the planned Batman solo film has problems but simply doesn't care because it will make a lot of money. But writing on Facebook, Ellis seemed to acknowledge the game of telephone involved:
During a long interview with The Ringer's Sean Fennessey we talked about reasons why studio movies are so bad now and touched on the global needs of the marketplace. I told him something I had heard about the new Batman movie as an example of what might be the problem: I was talking with two executives who have NOTHING to do with the Batman movie and who KNEW people who were involved with the production. The two executives I was having dinner with were relating the problems they had heard about the script from people working on the Batman project--that's all. I know no one involved with the Batman movie and I didn't realize that my comments would make it into The Ringer piece or else I wouldn't have cited that particular movie--I have no idea what the Batman script is like and I regret that it came off as if I was disparaging the project. Another reason to be careful giving interviews.
The rumor almost immediately drew skepticism, in no small part because Ellis' purported knowledge of the film's development was at least twice removed. There's also the matter of Affleck, who has stressed there's technically "no Batman movie happening yet," as he's waiting to get the script right before moving forward with the project. According to the actor/director, it doesn't even have a title yet.
Written by Affleck and DC Entertainment CEO Geoff Johns, the film does, however, have a partial cast, with Affleck reprising his role as Bruce Wayne, joined by Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke.