The Batman to Shoot in Los Angeles with or Without Ben Affleck?
Round and round we go. It seems like nobody really knows what is going on with Ben Affleck's in development solo Batman movie for Warner Bros. at the moment. One second it seems good to go, then the next Ben Affleck himself will heavily temper expectations. In any case, at this immediate moment, we have some news that implies things are moving ahead as planned, at least on Warner Bros.' side of things. It looks like Ben Affleck's The Batman may be shooting primarily in Los Angeles. With or without Ben Affleck attached.
The Batman fan site Batman on Film is reporting that a source with knowledge of the production has told them the bulk of the filming for the new Batman movie will take place in Los Angeles. The report also notes that most of that shooting will be done at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, meaning that most of the movie will probably be shot on a soundstage, as opposed to actually being on location. Here is what their report had to say about it.
"I have been told that the bulk of the filming of The Batman will take place in Los Angeles - most likely at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank. When asked if any filming will occur on-location or outside of the U.S., he/she wasn't sure - but is adamant that production is based on LA."
The fact that The Batman will reportedly be shooting mostly on a soundstage at the Warner Bros. lot does imply that the movie will be a little more stylized than something like Christopher Nolan' The Dark Knight trilogy. There will likely be a lot more green screen and things of that sort, as opposed to actual, physical locations in cities. That would seem to suit the look of the DC Extended Universe so far, but it would also gel with reports that claim a good chunk of the movie may take place inside of Arkham Asylum. That is something that could easily (relatively speaking) be built on a soundstage.
That news seems all good and well, but things have been peculiar and confusing regarding the actual state of The Batman. It is seemingly clear that Warner Bros. is determined to make the movie happen sooner rather than later, since it will probably be a huge cash cow. Ben Affleck is attached to direct, star and co-write the script with DCEU head Geoff Johns. However, Ben Affleck has been a bit, let's say wishy washy on the state of the movie. Most recently, he walked things back a bit and made it seem as though the movie isn't a definite thing. Here is what he had to say in an interview with The Guardian.
"That's the idea. But it's not a set thing and there's no script. If it doesn't come together in a way I think is really great I'm not going to do it."
Given that the DCEU movies thus far have at best been divisive, it is probably good for fans to hear that Ben Affleck is taking a firm stance and saying he will only do the movie if he truly feels it is right. On the other hand, with reports claiming that the movie is supposed to shoot as early as March, having "no script" for The Batman seems like a big problem. Are there issues going on behind the scenes? Are he and Warner Bros. not getting along? Did things not go so great on Justice League and make him rethink things a bit? Is everything fine and he is just being a perfectionist? It is hard to say, but certainly, from the limited information we are getting, things seem a bit unsure.
There is no release date set for The Batman yet, but it has been speculated that the movie could be released in July 2018. There hasn't been much in the way of casting, but Ben Affleck will play Batman, Jeremy Irons will be back as Alfred, J.K. Simmons will be Commissioner Jim Gordon and Joe Manganiello has been tapped to play the villain Deathstroke. We'll be sure to keep you up to date as more information becomes available.