Few would argue the efforts to make the DC Comics cinematic universe have been good enough to match the success enjoyed by Disney and its Marvel Cinematic Universe. That may be why Warner Bros. is in a full scramble to make sure its next Batman film hits it out of the park.
Soon after we learned Ben Affleck was stepping out of the director’s chair for The Batman comes word the search for a brand new script and creative team is underway. For a movie originally scheduled to be released in 2018, that sounds bad. The movie has already seen some rewrites courtesy of Chris Terrio, but a report from Forbes says the movie could be overhauled once more once a new director is named for the film.
“…the project will undergo substantial changes and possible/probably another full rewrite. Warner Bros. is already speaking to several filmmakers about taking over in the director’s chair — including one of my personal longtime favorites to direct a Batman movie, Matt Reeves, who seems to be the frontrunner — and word is the project will essentially get a fresh start once a new creative team has been put together.”
The timing may not be ideal, but this would hardly be the first time a film has had to reorganize itself at this point in the production schedule. Considering how important Batman films have been to Warner Bros. in the past, it is best to proceed as carefully as possible to ensure this next standalone Batman adventure lives up to the expectations. Affleck’s portrayal of the Dark Knight in Batman V. Superman ended up being one of the bright spots from the film, and the opportunity to see Affleck again as Batman in his own adventure is something that has many fans of the caped crusader intrigued.
Comparing what DC has done with its contained cinematic universe to what has long been done with Marvel’s properties is like pitting Mike Tyson against Glass Joe, but it is an inescapable comparison that will continue to be made. While DC should not aim to mimic everything Marvel has done well, it should focus on being its own brand and just tell the best possible story it possibly can. So far, it has been a rough start despite some reason to be hopeful.
Batman V. Superman was a critical letdown and Suicide Squad did nothing to regain much enthusiasm. 2017 is a critical year for DC properties with the upcoming releases of Wonder Woman and Justice League. It will be crucial to have those movies do well and be received admirably by critics and fans alike, otherwise the future of the DC cinematic universe efforts may hinge on how successful The Batman is.
Wonder Woman will be released on June 2, 2017, while Justice League will be released on November 17, 2017. The Batman is tentatively scheduled for a release in 2018, though that release date seems destined to be pushed back into 2019 at this point.