While Warner Bros. may or may not be in the midst of some shakeups within its DC Extended Universe following the disappointing reception of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio does have an ace up its sleeve, and that’s Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie. Warner Bros. has been trying to court Affleck to direct and star in a new Batman film pretty much ever since he was first cast as the Caped Crusader in Zack Snyder’s superhero smackdown, and while word surfaced last year that he was developing a script alongside DC Comics COO Geoff Johns, we didn’t get official confirmation that the project was in the works until a couple of weeks ago, when WB formally confirmed Affleck is developing a Batman movie that he will direct.
So, since Affleck and Johns have been working on the script for quite some time, what will this new Batman film entail? Well if a new report is to be believed, a lot. Per Devin Faraci over at Birth.Movies.Death, Affleck, and Johns are looking to rope in a bevy of classic Batman villains to appear in the film, with “many, if not most, members of Batman’s rogue’s gallery” making appearances in the picture. Apparently Affleck and Johns want to make “the definitive Batman film,” and populating the picture with all the iconic Batman villains is part of their plan at this point in time.
Now this doesn’t mean the movie won’t have a principal villain, and one imagines most of these appearances will be cameos, but it’s still kind of neat to imagine seeing Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, etc. all in the same film. And since Suicide Squad will already establish Batman villains Deadshot (Will Smith), Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), and of course The Joker (Jared Leto), these characters are all up for easy cameos as well.
Think back to the 1966 Batman: The Movie, in which Penguin, Joker, Riddler, and Catwoman to take on The Bat. So perhaps instead of one principal villain, there may be a team of baddies squaring off.
There’s currently no firm release date set for Affleck’s Batman film just yet, but one imagines it couldn’t come fast enough for Warner Bros. The studio is trying to keep its DC Extended Universe on track after Batman v Superman suffered a shellacking by critics and a disappointing box office run. Affleck is currently shooting Justice League with Snyder directing while also doing post-production work on his next directorial effort, the Prohibition-era crime drama Live by Night, but it’s possible this Batman movie could be ready to roll sometime next year.