Like a yo-yo this week, we’ve been following the news about where The Batman is in terms of Warner Bros. development slate of upcoming DC Comics films. On the weekend, it looked like it was a sure thing for 2019 in taking the slot previously reserved for Justice League Part 2, but at the beginning of the week, Ben Affleck, the star and expected co-writer and director of the film, came out and said “Not so fast.” That brings us to today, and a higher authority at Warner Bros. who seemed to indicate that The Batman will be coming out sooner than any of us thought.
While talking to Deadline about his imminent departure from the studio he’s led since 2013, Warner Bros.’ creative chief Greg Silverman explained that things are looking good for the WB in 2017, but they’re looking even better in 2018. “In 2018, there is a second Fantastic Beasts film, and Ready Player One feels like an ambitious movie by the world’s best filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, that will set the world on fire,” Silverman said. “There is Aquaman with James Wan, and Scooby Doo will be a huge launch and then there is LEGO Ninjago. And then there is Ben Affleck’s Batman.”
That news is unlikely to please Affleck who told the New York Times this week that “I’m a real believer in not doing, not reverse engineering projects to meet a window or a date, but rather like when you get the right story or you get the right idea or you get the right thing, then you make the movie.” From the sounds of it, Silverman is doing some of that “reverse engineering”, but he might have just as easily misspoke. The release date of LEGO Ninjago is actually September 22, 2017, so he might have just been throwing out names of high-profile projects coming out in the next couple of years.
No matter where Affleck is in the process of writing the script, there’s no doubt that the peddle is down in making The Batman happen sooner rather than later. After all, it already has a supporting cast that includes Jeremy Irons and J.K. Simmons, and a villain in the form of Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke. The Batman is coming, it’s just now a matter of nailing down a release date. And as soon as we know, you’ll know.