As 2016 comes to a close, Warner Bros. has continued to shake up the future of the DC Extended Universe. As they look ahead to releasing Wonder Woman and Justice League next year, 2018 has had more than its fair share of question marks. The Flash was supposed to be the first film out the gate that year, but currently sits without a director or official release date, while Aquaman has been confirmed to get a late 2018 date. That leaves one potential spot available, with most speculating that The Batman could be a possibility.
Affleck confirmed today that the movie is on track to film in the spring, but with Justice League 2 being pushed in favor of the solo Batman film, a 2019 date seemed most likely. However, that is not the case anymore.
Deadline had the chance to interview Greg Silverman in light of him stepping down as President of Creative Development for Warner Bros. During the interview, Silverman addressed their upcoming slate and when it came to 2018, he confirmed The Batman will be coming out then:
Then in 2018, there is a second Fantastic Beasts film, and Ready Player One feels like an ambitious movie by the world’s best filmmaker, Steven Spielberg, that will set the world on fire. There is Aquaman with James Wan, and Scooby Doo will be a huge launch and then there is Lego Ninjago. And then there is Ben Affleck’s Batman.
With The Batman now confirmed to hit theaters in 2018, it appears the studio could be positioning it as their big summer hit. If everything stays on track and they begin filming in spring of 2017, then it should have no problem making a summer release date. WB had previously staked out July 27th, 2018 as a date for an upcoming DCEU film, so that could be where they are targeting to put Batman. That said, Paramount also recently dated Mission: Impossible 6 for the same day, so WB could easily look at debuting Batman a few weeks before or after.
What this ultimately gives fans is some concrete details as to when they can expect to see Affleck’s version of Batman where he gets to not only play the character, but also write and direct the entire movie. As he was the best part of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice for many, it is no surprise that his solo film continues to move forward. He is currently focused on finishing the script, which will eventually lead to fleshing out the cast. So far only Alfred (Jeremy Irons), Gordon (J.K. Simmons), and Deathstroke (Joe Manganiello) have been slated to appear, but there should be many other roles that have yet to be cast, in addition to the possibility of other DCEU cameos.