‘The Batman’ movie: Everything we know so far

Ben Affleck is still involved with 'The Batman,' says director

DC Comics’ Dark Knight has a long and successful history in films and television, and now he’s poised to return to the big screen in The Batman, the upcoming solo feature set in Warner Bros. Pictures’ cinematic universe of DC superheroes and villains. Development has been slow on the project, but recent reports offer some details about the focus of the script and when it might be completed.

Set to be directed and written by Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes filmmaker Matt Reeves with Ben Affleck expected — but not certain — to reprise the title role, The Batman will be the character’s first solo feature since the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy.

Although the film still doesn’t have a release date on the calendar, here’s everything we know about The Batman so far.

  • Title: The Batman
  • Release date: TBD
  • Cast: Ben Affleck, Joe Manganiello, Jeremy Irons
  • Director: Matt Reeves

The story

Like the Aquaman and Wonder Woman solo movies, The Batman is expected to focus on DC Comics’ famous Dark Knight while unfolding within the studio’s DC Comics cinematic universe. Reeves has described the story he’s developing as “noir-driven” with Batman “investigating a particular case that takes us out into the world of Gotham.”

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Rumors that the film would adapt the popular Batman: Year One story penned by Frank Miller were debunked by Reeves, who said he wouldn’t be telling an origin story for the character. In August 2018, Reeves said he expected to have a new draft of the script finished that month.

The star

Despite portraying Batman in each of the films in which the character appeared so far in the DC Extended Universe, Ben Affleck’s presence under the Dark Knight’s cowl isn’t a sure thing.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

During the Television Critics Association press tour in August, Reeves said Affleck is “still involved” with the project, but declined to confirm that he would still play the title role. Given that Affleck also co-wrote an early draft of the script and is attached as a producer, being “involved” with the film could mean just about anything, and we might not have any certainty about his role (or roles) in the film until cameras are rolling or a replacement is announced.

The villain(s)

The Dark Knight has a memorable rogues’ gallery, but at least one of the villains he’s expected to face off against in The Batman hasn’t played a featured role in any of his live-action films so far.

In August 2016, Ben Affleck posted a video on Twitter featuring an unknown actor in costume as Slade Wilson, the lethal DC Comics mercenary known as Deathstroke.

Created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Deathstroke was subjected to a secret military experiment that gave him enhanced strength, agility, and other attributes. A tactical genius with fighting skills that rival those of Batman, Deathstroke has battled — and occasionally defeated — many of DC Comics’ most prominent heroes over the years.

Just a few weeks after Affleck posted his video, Deathstroke was confirmed as the villain of Batman’s solo movie, with True Blood actor Joe Manganiello also confirmed as the actor under the mask in that video.

the batman movie news cast rumors trailer deathstroke joe manganiello justice league

Manganiello then made his debut as Deathstroke in a post-credits scene during Justice League in which he was seen meeting with Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to discuss forming a “league” of villains.

Deathstroke might not be the only villain featured in the film, though.

According to tweets from Variety’s Justin Kroll, the villain — last seen on the big screen in 1992’s Batman Returns, as played by Danny DeVito — has been tentatively tabbed as Batman’s main opponent in the upcoming film.

Kroll stressed that Warner Bros. isn’t 100-percent certain about the decision, but that Penguin is a lock for an upcoming DCEU film — either The Batman or Birds of Prey, a planned movie featuring several popular female characters.

The supporting cast

The only cast member who seems to be confirmed at this point for The Batman is Jeremy Irons, who’s expected to reprise his role as Alfred Pennyworth in the film.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Irons previously played the role in Batman V. Superman and Justice League, and all signs point to him continuing to play the part of Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler, mentor, and confidant.

The problems

First announced in 2014, the project that would eventually become The Batman initially had Affleck attached to direct, produce, co-write and star in the film, sharing script duties with longtime DC Comics author and DC Films co-chairman Geoff Johns. All seemed well and good with the project until the first reactions to Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice (in which Affleck made his debut as Batman) began trickling in.

Affleck’s experience with the notoriously ill-received Batman V. Superman (which resulted in the interview that spawned the “Sad Affleck” meme) appeared to sour his relationship with the solo feature, and he announced his exit from the director’s chair in January 2017. Matt Reeves was named the new director on the film a month later.

The Batman movie

The troubles weren’t over for The Batman, though, as a report was published a week later indicating that Affleck could be on his way out as Bruce Wayne and the studio was looking for a way to “usher out Affleck’s Batman gracefully.” That report was published on the second day of 2017’s San Diego Comic-Con, prompting Affleck to address it during Warner Bros. Pictures’ movie panel two days later.

“Let me be very clear: I am the luckiest guy in the world,” said Affleck when asked about the report during the show’s Justice League panel (via CNN). “Batman is the coolest part in any universe — DC, Marvel. It’s incredible. … I’m so thrilled to do it.”

“I know there was a misconception that because I didn’t direct it that I wasn’t enthusiastic about it, [but] it’s f—ing amazing,” he continued. “And I still can’t believe I’ve done two films and have this great history with this studio.”

Updated August 2 with more information about the story and Ben Affleck’s current involvement.

Gaming

‘Dark Souls Remastered’ finally hits Nintendo Switch this October

Dark Souls Remastered was originally supposed to release on Switch alongside the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions, but it was delayed. Fans will be able to pick the game up this October.
Movies & TV

Premium network, premium content: The best movies on HBO right now

HBO always has a solid selection of feature-length films on tap, but the offerings rotate fairly regularly, and browsing fatigue can set in given the sheer volume of the catalog. Here are our current favorites.
Movies & TV

Sony's upcoming 'Venom' movie might not be R-rated after all

Tom Hardy will play the lead role in Sony Pictures' Venom, so here's everything we know about the solo feature for the popular Spider-Man spinoff character ahead of the film's 2018 premiere in theaters.
Movies & TV

'Spider-Man: Far From Home' gets some extra SHIELD with latest casting

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Zion,’ ‘Shaun of the Dead,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Short documentary Zion, hardboiled detective comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, and more.
Movies & TV

MoviePass forces customers to choose between only two movies

After recently announcing a new model that is set go into effect in September, it was revealed that MoviePass has now started to force its customers to choose between only two movies.
Movies & TV

A U.S. comedy that ended in 2004 is now the most-streamed show in the U.K.

It ended 14 years ago, but Netflix has given a U.S. comedy a new lease of life in Britain. In fact, it's currently the most-streamed show there, beating the likes of The Grand Tour and Stranger Things.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Slaughterhouse Rulez,’ ‘The Nutcracker,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. To simplify things, we round up the best of the best each week. On tap this week: The trailers for Slaughterhouse Rulez and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
Movies & TV

‘The Meg’ devours the weekend box office to knock off ‘Mission: Impossible’

Giant shark movie The Meg surprised just about everyone with a massive opening weekend that gave studio Warner Bros. Pictures its biggest premiere of the year so far. It knocked Mission: Impossible -- Fallout down to second place.
Movies & TV

Star Trek 4 in trouble as Chris Pine, Chris Hemsworth take their Kirks and go home

Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth have both reportedly left talks to star in Star Trek 4 due to contract disputes with studio Paramount Pictures, leaving the status of the fourth film uncertain.
Music

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Movies & TV

Was there a 'Captain Marvel' Easter Egg In 'Avengers: Infinity War'?

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Movies & TV

'Westworld' creators hint at characters they have big plans for in season 3

HBO wrapped up the second season of Westworld with a finale that asked as many questions as it answered, leaving fans eager to know more about season 3. Here's everything we know so far about the show's next act.