‘The Batman’ will happen without Ben Affleck—and fans have feelings

After years of confusing news about who will direct and star in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Batman movie, what the story will be about, and when it will be released, we now have more definitive answers—to these questions at least. Director Matt Reeves has confirmed that The Batman is set for a June 25, 2021 release, featuring a much younger Bruce Wayne, according to Deadline.

We also know who will not be in it: Ben Affleck is reportedly not returning as the Dark Knight, which he portrayed in 2016’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and 2017’s Justice League, with a cameo in 2016’s Suicide Squad. Affleck stepped down from his role as The Batman director and writer in 2017 and was replaced by Reeves shortly after.

As if to confirm the report that he’ll no longer be part of the project, Affleck tweeted a link to Deadline’s report, saying he’s “excited” to see Reeves’ vision come to life:

While his being cast as Batman in the first place proved to be polarizing among fans, many were still disappointed to see him depart the franchise. “Thank you @BenAffleck for being Batman, … @ZackSnyder is a legend for casting you while the internet hated it. You proved them wrong and you have that title. Thank you and best of luck,” user @jaeroar tweeted.

https://twitter.com/JaeRoar/status/1090797417971236864

As for which DC Comics storyline the new movie will pursue, Reeves confirmed that it will be “a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” reiterating what he said during the Television Critics Association panel last year.

“It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation,” he tells the Hollywood Reporter.

The Batman won’t necessarily be connected to any other movie in the DC universe, too, with Warner Bros.’ apparent new direction of focusing on standalone films instead of having them exist in one shared universe Marvel-style. “Right now, I’m involved in The Batman. What it will be called ultimately, I don’t know. Aquaman is going to be very different from the Todd Phillips Joker movie, and that’s going to be different from Shazam and Harley Quinn. Warner believes they don’t have to try to develop a giant slate that has to have all the plans for how it’s going to connect. What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters,” he says in his interview with THR.

Reeves has yet to announce who will play the new Caped Crusader, but says he will have several villains—“a Rogues Gallery.” (Comicbook.com listed a few guesses for the roster.) He has yet to pick the cast. According to Varietys sources, “studio execs have been very happy with early versions of Reeves’ draft and that he had been spending the past couple of months giving a final polish before he began meeting actors for the part.” Reports indicate filming will supposedly begin in November.

Still, fans are eager to throw in suggestions for who should wear the Batsuit—everyone from Robbie Amell (CW’s The Flash) to Richard Madden (Bodyguard and Game of Thrones).

A Black Batman should definitely be considered, especially according to user @its_all_groovy:

However, some are of the opinion that no one should play Batman for a while:

The Daily Dot made a strong case for it here. We’ll have to wait until 2021 for The Batman to see if it’s worth bringing him out of the Batcave.

H/T Deadline

Trixie Reyna

Trixie Reyna

Trixie Reyna-Benedicto is a lifestyle editor and writer based in the Philippines. Previously, she helmed Cosmopolitan Philippines’ website, Cosmo.ph, as its founding editor. She later served as editor-in-chief of lifestyle and entertainment portals for Manila-based media company TV5. Her work has appeared in several print and online publications in her country, and she contributes to Speed Magazine, DG Traveler, and Connected Women, among others. Visit her website, trixiereyna.com.