REVENGE REPORT: The Wait For THE BATMAN May Be Longer Than You Think, More
Matt Reeves recently revealed his hopes for a Spring or Summer start for his Batman movie, and that led to the assumption that the film would release sometime in 2020. But the word on the street is that the film’s release year is likely to be later than that and, depending on who you ask, possibly much later.
On the most recent episode of The Fanboy Podcast, I shared with you that I’d heard from sources within Warner Bros. that 2021 is the year being discussed for the next film about the Dark Knight- which we’re all still calling The Batman for now. But someone else I trust has informed me that 2021 is kind of a best case scenario, and that the wait could be longer than that. Because despite their desire for a 2021 release, it’s more important for them that the film be as good as possible than to hit some arbitrary release date.
I’m referring to Bill “Jett” Ramey of Batman-On-Film, who’s been posting some cryptic teases about the duration of our anticipated wait for The Batman on his twitter account. Since he’s a friend of mine, and his intel has checked out many times in the past (more on that later), I reached out to him directly to get the skinny on his calls for Batman fans to be patient. He’s heard they’re taking their time perfecting the script in order to position this next Batman film for maximum success, and he urges me that none of this is bad news.
While one may be quick to assume that there’s perhaps some sort of issue with the movie, which has led to some perceived “delay,” he says the reason for the extended wait for the film is actually all positive. It’s apparently all in service of the film itself, as the studio is fully aware that this needs to be great and are in no rush to get him back to the big screen unless they’re sure he’s in the best shape.
And remember, folks, no release date was ever set. And Reeves only said he “hoped” to get it ready to film in Spring or Summer. So this isn’t really a delay. Similar to what just happened with The Flash, it’s just the studio backing off a projected start date in order to make sure the film has everything it needs instead of rushing it out of the gate- something they were maligned for doing with Justice League.
So don’t be worried about The Batman; Just be patient.
And since I did just mention Justice League, let’s talk a little bit about my friend Bill.
A Note On Bill “Jett” Ramey and Batman-On-Film
Last year, he and I were the only reporters to go on record about the extensive overhaul the studio was doing on that film. While others were quick to deny our reports from their lofty posts at places like The Wrap, Bill and I were the only people who were sounding the alarm that the studio was essentially remaking the movie- and were therefore the only ones proven 100% correct on November 17, when people saw the film and realized “Oh, wow. This is not a Snyder movie.”
And while I wrote my report on it for The Splash Report– which meant I was shielded from some of the direct backlash by fans in denial about the film being taken away from Zack Snyder- Bill painted a big bullseye on his head by writing about it on Batman-On-Film, because he is Batman-On-Film!
For months, he faced all kinds of abuse from fans who thought he simply “made up” that Justice League was being extensively changed for its theatrical cut. He was accused of only saying this because of his supposed hatred of Snyder- which conveniently overlooks the fact that he actually really enjoyed Man of Steel and Watchmen– and his detractors were given some red meat to sink their teeth into in September of 2017 when he seemingly misreported that some reshoots were taking place in Italy for a sequence set in Themyscira.
Yet, while he may have gotten the particulars of what was being shot in September wrong, he was once again vindicated earlier this year when it was revealed that Joss Whedon was still filming additional footage for Justice League in late September, less than eight weeks before the release of the film.
The point is, Bill knows his stuff. Batman-On-Film is an authority when it comes to news on the cinematic adventures of our beloved Dark Knight (and they’re the dad-gum original).
And while some take issue with my pal because of his no-nonsense “Texas candor” when people attempt to attack or undermine him, what can I say? Not everyone is as diplomatic as I am. When people come at me with accusatory, ill-informed nonsense, I tend to try and engage them and change their perception. Not everyone’s got the time or desire to do that, and Bill has no problem giving whatever attitude you throw at him right back at you.
I bring all this up because he really is my friend, and I consider Batman-On-Film part of the Revenge of The Fans family. His relationship to Batman mirrors my bond with Superman, and so I consider our sites the World’s Finest duo of geek sites run by passionate fans. Meanwhile, I’ve had people actually send me e-mails saying, “I love you, the podcasts, and the site. But can you please not have Bill on your show again? He’s very divisive.”
If you’re not a fan of Bill’s particular brand of whiskey, that’s your choice. But he knows his stuff, is a pleasure to collaborate with, and when it comes to Batman intel…he’s as good as it gets.
Back To The Batman
Something else I mentioned on Friday’s The Fanboy, was a scoop I had to give up on. It’s one I was very excited to share with you, but it ultimately amounted to nothing so now it becomes one of those “What if?” scenarios.
A few weeks back, it was brought to my attention that Ben Affleck and some folks within Warner Bros. were interested in getting the actor back under the cowl for Reeves’ movie. It wasn’t some sort of unanimous decision by the studio, and it wasn’t a mandate they wanted to try and strong-arm Reeves into, but I was told that Affleck and some supporters within the studio engaged the director about a long-rumored idea that would involve bookending the story of a younger Batman…with scenes featuring Affleck’s older Batman.
Ultimately, I’m told Reeves turned down this suggestion- opting to have his film focus entirely on this younger Batman.
So while it would’ve been cool (and a huge scoop) to report that Affleck was set to return, nothing materialized from those talks- which I heard about from two, separate sources.
The talks involved bringing him into The Batman, possibly making a cameo in another upcoming DC film, and even the logistics of Affleck having to sign a liability waiver that would absolve the studio of any insurance issues if Affleck’s personal struggles were to creep up again. But it all hinged on whether or not they could get Reeves on board.
Please don’t take these failed talks as “Affleck wants to return, and so does the studio, but- BOO!- Matt Reeves doesn’t!” because it’s really not that simplistic. A more accurate distillation of what I heard is:
Affleck was open to the idea. Some within the studio were interested in the idea, if they could get the stars to align. And Reeves really just wants his film to stand on its own, without any potential baggage from the reception to Justice League and Batman v Superman to weigh it down or cause a distraction from his seminal Batman movie.
And, if you’re someone who was burnt out by the way the studio handled Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad, and Justice League, this is actually all great news. It means they learned their lesson. It means they’re not strong-arming anyone; They’re not forcing their directors to comply with their demands; They’re not taking the film away from the creator they entrusted it to. They simply had an idea, they pitched it to the director, and then allowed the director to make the final decision.
That’s how we want things to be from now on, don’t we? Let the filmmakers make their films, their way, without meddling.
So while it may be a gut-punch to hear how seemingly close we got to the return of Batfleck, that wound should be soothed by the fact that the studio has learned its lesson and knows when to back off on an idea.
While I would’ve loved to see Affleck back in a proper solo Batman movie, I’ll take this if it means the studio really is letting its filmmaker spread his (bat)wings.