A few weeks ago, the internet was bursting with rumors about Matt Reeves exiting The Batman. But while the vast majority of the coverage on this rumor was sensationalistic click-bait, I was part of a small brigade of people trying to calm your fears. I explained that what was actually going on, as per discussions I’d had with someone behind the scenes, was that Reeves and his WB/DC bosses were merely having discussions about his plans for the film.
See, I explained at the time these negative murmurs all stemmed from the fact that DC Entertainment was getting a little antsy about The Batman. Reason being that Reeves was given the reins to the next movie about the Caped Crusader a year ago and- since then- there hasn’t been much to report. Meanwhile, they want to develop movies like Nightwing and Batgirl, and they can’t really move forward with those until they know what’s going on with Batman.
Those other Bat projects have seemingly slipped into limbo because of this waiting game: Joss Whedon exited Batgirl, Chris McKay stepped away from developing Nightwing to work on something else (with the full intention of coming back to the project once they’re ready to proceed).
But an interesting exchange the director had on twitter last night seems to indicate how his discussions with the studio turned out…
When a fan asked him how things were coming along, Reeves replied:
Really, really well, thanks! I could not be more excited! 🦇
— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) April 3, 2018
“Really, really well, thanks! I could not be more excited!” he told the fan. And that means something, because Reeves is under no obligation to offer these kinds of updates. This wasn’t a formal interview, and the person asking the question doesn’t work for a site or news outlet.There was simply no reason at all for Reeves to offer this very optimistic update unless it’s true. So this indicates that those talks went really well, and he’s happy with the way things are moving.
That’s great news for Batman fans, and for folks wondering about the status of The Batman. And, as someone who was clued in about those discussions, I’m happy to hear that it all worked out. I may not think Reeves is the only choice to direct this film, as others seem to, but I know that the Dark Knight is in incredibly capable hands with him.
But what about his star? Who’s going to play Bruce Wayne/Batman?
As I’ve noted before, this situation is hard to report on. At different points in the last 16 or so months, Ben Affleck has been ready to walk away forever. I’ve outlined all of the trials and tribulations of Affleck’s tenure with DC before, so feel free to read that before proceeding (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Affleck“).
While others have stated we’ll “never” see him don the cowl again, I’ve always left that door open. While I’m not optimistic we’ll see him signing on for a whole new slate of appearances, which would include a Matt Reeves Bat Trilogy, I’ve maintained that we could see him pop up in Suicide Squad 2 or Flashpoint before he retires from the role.
Some recently announced Affleck news could indicate he’s not done with the Dark Knight.
According to Fan Expo Dallas, Mr. Affleck, who “is known for his recurring role as Batman in recent DC films such as Justice League, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Suicide Squad” will be appearing at the convention. And that’s not all.
Here’s a snippet from the official press release:
“Affleck will greet fans, pose for photo ops (including a team up with his Justice League co-star Jason Momoa) and sign autographs during the star-studded event.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but if Affleck were really 100% done playing Batman, would he sign up for something like this?
This is all speculation, of course, but a millionaire like Affleck would have no reason to appear at something like this unless he really wanted to. And if he really wants to, that tells me there’s still a glimmer of hope we’ll see him as Batman again.
I still consider it a huge long shot he’ll appear in The Batman, considering Reeves would likely want Affleck for multiple appearances. But who knows? Affleck’s career is currently at a low point, and if he’s shown a script that blows him away, and a clear vision for where this could all go, that might just turn the tide.
Maybe I’m just being an optimist, but between Reeves being excited about The Batman, Affleck seeming ready to embrace his legacy as the current Dark Knight, and the fact that a ton has changed over at DC Entertainment in the last several months, maybe the tide will turn?
I’ve said it many times: A focused, engaged, and motivated Ben Affleck is the best Batman we’ve ever seen.
Oh, and- for what it’s worth- even Shazam! star Zachary Levi thinks of Affleck as Batman. Check out this very thoughtful message he sent, trying to get Ben to grant an ailing boy’s wish:
— Zachary Levi (@ZacharyLevi) April 3, 2018
This is probably unrelated, and just evidence of Levi being a good samaritan, but I think it means something for a current DC star to still be referring to Affleck as Batman. If the news behind the scenes was that “Ben’s gone,” I doubt Levi would be trying to make this happen.
Remember, folks, this is all speculation on my part. But I think all these little pieces could add up to something special.