Matt Reeves is directing The Batman and has now made comments that raise questions about its DC Extended Universe connections. WB and DC’s approach to the shared cinematic universe model has seen them quickly introduce a number of superheroes and villains to the DCEU. This began in full with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where several heroes were introduced alongside Henry Cavill returning as Superman. One of the new introductions was Ben Affleck as Batman, serving as the beginning of his run playing The Dark Knight on the big screen.
Affleck was originally going to call the shots on The Batman himself, before he stepped down from directing at the beginning of the year, allowing Reeves to step in and take his old spot. Since he joined, Reeves has made it clear that he is interested in making his vision of The Batman, as he deems fit. Apparently, in their effort to get Reeves to sign up for The Batman, WB/DC told him the film isn’t part of the larger “extended universe”.
This revelation came directly from Reeves during an interview with THR‘s Kim Masters (the reporter behind the story about WB and Affleck working on his DCEU exit) on her podcast The Business. When Reeves was asked about his vision for The Batman, he echoed his previous comments about his take having a personal connection with him, but also indicated that it wasn’t sold to him as being part of the DCEU:
When they approached me, what they said was look, it’s a standalone. This isn’t part of the Extended Universe.
It should be noted that Reeves’ comments don’t necessarily mean The Batman won’t be part of the DCEU. This year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, for example, was described as being a “self-enclosed” story by director James Gunn, yet it very much exists as part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reeves could be play fast and loose with his wording there, in other words, meaning The Batman is part of the DCEU but the story it will tell is self-contained – freeing Reeves and the franchise from having to do any setup for the future of the DCEU.
On the other hand, word just broke that WB and DC are planning a Joker standalone origin film that is set outside of the DCEU. Maybe in order to get Reeves onboard, his Batman movie will be included as part of this Elseworlds-style banner. This would give WB the ability to still release a Batman solo film in the near future, but give them even more time to figure out what Affleck’s DCEU future is. Reeves has shown that holding to his vision firmly can result in some incredible movies already, so giving him freedom creatively and canonically could prove to be a great move, in the long run.
If that is the case however, it puts a DCEU standalone Batman movie very much up in the air. The movie was part of WB/DC’s announced DCEU lineup at San Diego Comic-Con, so it seems fair to assume The Batman is still part of the DCEU – for now. Either way, Reeves should be able to deliver a great Batman film, even if it turns out to not be the one that many people were/are expecting.
The Batman is currently in development and does not have a release date.
Source: The Business
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