Warner Bros. is well aware that big changes are needed if it wants to get its DC Extended Universe on par with the MCU. Man of Steel (2013), and this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad have simply not won the public over the way the studio would have wanted. Although the box office statistics for all three films are far from negative, WB will have been hoping for better, particularly with Batman v Superman given the huge popularity surrounding both characters. But, it’s clear that the Dark Knight has in many ways surpassed Supes as the public’s favourite DC hero.
There’s no question that Batman’s solo films are the ones that DC knows it HAS to get right in order to keep any sort of loyal fans invested in their Extended Universe. The caped crusader is the company’s most bankable character, but following the rampant success of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy presents a big challenge.
In order to see the task through the studio has appointed its two most qualified talents, Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns, who have respectively achieved enough for two lifetimes in their continuing careers. Affleck’s performance in Batman v Superman was undoubtedly the film’s strongest point, which gives the 45 year-old every advantage going into helming the character’s solo project. Geoff Johns has of course been the chief creative officer of DC Comics for a while now and has arguably the most complete view of the company’s publication history, giving him the deepest insight into the characters period.
We recently heard that True Blood star Joe Manganiello will be suiting up as gun-for-hire Deathstroke in the movie, and that the film’s title will simply be “The Batman“. Now, reports from comicbook.com may have pinpointed a release date. In an interview with Suicide Squadcast (via comicbook.com), Warner Bros. CEO Jeff Bewkes indicated that Affleck’s Batman movie is not as far out as previously thought:
‘Ben announced a Batman movie [that] he’s going to direct, star, write for – I think it’s a year and a half out. So, the strategy worked.’
Quickly doing the math, that would place The Batman for release early on in 2018, close to the March date that BvS had this year. Anyhow, it’s clear that the studio wants to push this film out as soon as possible as it has, on paper, the most potential of all its current superhero projects.
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Expect to see The Batman in theatres 2018.