It’s been nearly two years since Warner Bros. and DC Films took the reins of the next solo Batman film away from Ben Affleck and handed them to Matt Reeves. We’ve known for some time that the War for the Planet of the Apes director was hoping to tell a gritty detective story with the Caped Crusader that didn’t rehash his so often rehashed origin. Now, the Reeves has revealed a few more details of his planned — including a target release date.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Reeves again emphasized the World’s Greatest Detective angle of his “noir” Batman. “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,” he said. “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.”
Confirming that the current title is still The Batman (though there’s still time for that to change), Reeves added that he’s going to pit the hero against a “Rogues Gallery” of villains. “The casting process will begin shortly. We’re starting to put together our battle plan,” he explained, holding true to his statements last summer regarding a 2019 start. “I’m doing another pass on the script and we’ll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things.”
All that said, he revealed they’re currently targeting a “late spring or summer” 2021 release, though he added he “wouldn’t commit” to a firm timeline. It seems WB is willing to give Reeves the time he needs to make a solid standalone Bat-film. With the success of Aquaman, the uniqueness of Todd Phillips’ upcoming Joker film, and tonally different productions like Shazam and Birds of Prey, the studio isn’t overly concerned with making the DC Extended Universe a particularly interconnected one.
Update – Jan 30th at 8:00 p.m.: WB has set a June 25th, 2021 release for The Batman. The sequel to Suicide Squad will follow on August 6th, 2021. Additionally, Affleck has seemingly confirmed he will not be in the film.
“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,” Reeves said. “What they need to try and do is make good movies with these characters.” Well, duh.