Comics on Film: Get Used to No News About 'The Batman' For a While

Comics on Film: Get Used to No News About 'The Batman' For a While

Apr 13, 2018

Justice League

Given today's climate of constant news, speculation and commentary concerning our favorite characters at the movies, sometimes it can be frustrating when all of the theories and and ideas ultimately go unrequited. Some fans even find themselves panicking at the lack of new developments concerning their favorite franchises and characters, thinking that the old adage just doesn't hold true. Instead, they think "no news is bad news."

In no place are these feelings more obvious than the uncertain climate surrounding the future of DC Comics-based films outside of Wonder Woman 2Aquaman, and Shazam, most specifically in relation to the Dark Knight himself, Batman.

Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn't be all that concerned about a lack of news concerning Batman's next cinematic adventure, currently under the control of director Matt Reeves.

 

Batman Is Important to Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

This is the primary reason that you really don't need to worry about the future of Batman at the movies. Of all of the DC Comics characters in WB's library of IP, even in spite of the fact that they're beginning to branch out beyond the core characters they've mostly relied on for decades, Batman represents the most popular superhero character, and perhaps the most profitable character period, in the entire vast Warner Bros. empire.

Movies featuring Batman at the box office have collectively grossed a total of nearly $5 billion at the global box office since 1989, not to mention the plethora of other revenue streams they have access to through Batman in the form of merchandising, video games, TV projects, etc. Batman's grasp on popular culture over the course of his entire existence is virtually unparallelled, making him, arguably, one of the single most profitable characters that Warner Bros. has access to, which should tell you a lot considering their history and modern forays into other territories.

Those truths by themselves almost ensure the future of Batman in theaters, making the next movie featuring the character and his world a perennial question of "when," not "if." While the form that Batman may take in his next movie could fluctuate, the character himself is never too far behind when it comes to upcoming superhero movies. Not in the modern era, anyway.

 

Matt Reeves Recently Expressed His Enthusiasm for the Movie

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Warner Bros. seems convinced that Reeves is the right filmmaker to next bring Batman to life, and though rumors seem to be flying about the next Batman movie faster than even the most skilled movie reporter can keep up with, Reeves himself is still publicly all in on directing the next Batman film. On Twitter earlier this very month, the director was asked about whether or not he felt Batman, as a project, was progressing to his satisfaction.

Almost without missing a beat — and completely not obligated on any level whatsoever to actually answer the question — Reeves did decide to publicly comment:

If Reeves thought that he didn't want to keep going with the project or that it wasn't progressing at a pace he was at least a little happy with, he could've very easily stayed silent, with the initial tweet passing like most tweets directed at celebrities usually do. Instead, not only did he answer the question, but he expressed a fair amount of enthusiasm concerning how he thought the movie — and his involvement in it — was moving along.

However things end up shaking out, his tweet likely shouldn't be a reason to hit the proverbial "panic button."

 

Even if the DCEU's Days are Numbered, Batman's Aren't

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

All of these factors should basically funnel into this conclusion. The so-called "DC Extended Universe" hasn't been the most successful cinematic series for Warner Bros. as a studio, and if they decide to fundamentally re-orient things after their current slate of releases come and go, the only question this really puts into the conversation surrounding Batman is who exactly will play him.

While the perspective of Comics on Film has always been that Ben Affleck has made for a very solid modern Dark Knight at the movies, the actor himself may very well feel that he may not want to put the cowl on again after the less-than-stellar wider critical reception to Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSuicide Squad, and Justice League.

If he left the part behind, then Affleck would be one of the actors with the fewest years behind the mask in the character's cinematic history, but the ultimate path of Affleck's involvement has yet to be decided either, at least publicly and definitively. It's difficult not to look at the fact, though, that Affleck's past "assurances" surrounding his involvement with Batman on multiple levels haven't exactly panned out, specifically when he was the one who was slated to sit in the director's chair.

While it would be a shame to see Affleck's Batman go before he had a real chance to make his mark on the character felt in a solo film of his very own, it would also likely be beneficial to the project at-large for him to step aside if his heart just isn't in it. The promise of a big payday can only take an actor so far, and if he feels that his time would be better served elsewhere, then hopefully WB and Mr. Affleck would do what's best for Mr. Reeves' vision with the Dark Knight to make the movie itself as good as it can possibly be.

Still, this writer hopes that Mr. Affleck can bring the hard-edged intensity he exhibited with Batman the first time to the next cinematic adventure of one of the world's greatest superheroes.

 

What do you hope to see from the next Batman movie? Do you want it to be in the DCEU? Maybe you want it to be totally disconnected from everything else? What kinds of villains would you want to see? Robin, or no Robin? Leave a comment below, and we'll see you with a new edition of Comics on Film next week.


Chris Clow is a comics expert/former retailer, and pop culture critic/commentator. He hosts two podcasts: Discovery Debrief: A Star Trek Podcast and Comics on Consoles. Find his column "Comics on Film" weekly at Movies.com, and follow along on Twitter @ChrisClow.

Categories: Comics, Features, Geek, Editorials
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