Matt Reeves has provided an update on The Batman, or what is at least titled The Batman for the time being. Ben Affleck, in a time that feels increasingly more distant, was at one point attached to star in, write and direct a standalone movie set within the current DC universe centered on Gotham City's caped crusader. Affleck stepped down, Reeves stepped in. The Cloverfield and Planet of the Apes filmmaker has spent the last couple of years developing the project and fans have been forced to exercise patience. Now, it sounds like Reeves is actually getting close and that time spent was valuable.
This new update comes as part of a larger, sprawling interview about Matt Reeves' career. Naturally, his long-gestating Batman movie came up. First off, he confirmed, for now, that it is titled The Batman, but that the title may not stick. Then, when asked to discuss his take, he reiterated earlier comments, stating that it's going to be a noir tale focusing on Batman the detective, as opposed to the beat-em-up Batman. Here's what Matt Reeves had to say about it.
"It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. 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."
Unfortunately, there is still no comment on whether or not Ben Affleck will appear, but it still seems likely that the role will be recast. As for the casting process? It hasn't started yet, but it's going to get underway soon.
"There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We're starting to put together our battle plan. I'm doing another pass on the script and we'll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things... We haven't been dated. I wouldn't commit to this, but we're thinking the movie would probably be for 2021, late spring or summer. Warner Bros. has been incredibly supportive and given me a lot of time and shared the same passion that I do for this story."
That timeline seems to make sense. If Matt Reeves can polish up the script and get casting firmed up over the next handful of months, production could easily get underway before the end of the year, which we've heard is Warner Bros.' plan. The rogues gallery comment is also interesting, as it implies we're going to see more than one of the Dark Knight's stable of iconic villains. There have been persistent rumors that the Penguin is on deck, possibly to be played by Josh Gad. Reeves also discussed the larger DC universe and explained that he's really only involved with this movie and that all of these various projects are going to be quite different.
"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. Warners 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."
The Harley Quinn spin-off Birds of Prey just kicked off production for a February 2020 release, with Wonder Woman 1984 set for June 2020. That leaves 2021 wide open and, with The Dark Knight Rises being the last solo Batman movie released back in 2012, audiences are surely ready to see DC's biggest hero back outside the confines of a big team-up movie. We'll be sure to keep you posted as more details on the project are made available. This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.