It has been an up and down year for the DC Extended Universe. Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice received mixed reviews, but outside of being a financial hit, the biggest takeaway for audiences was how good Ben Affleck was as Batman. Despite his casting being heavily scrutinized at the time, it turned out to be one of the best decisions Warner Bros. has made so far and has driven a high-level of interest in his solo film. So far Affleck, who is writing, directing, and starring in The Batman, has remained coy as to when it could hit theaters, despite multiple cast members teasing a rapidly approaching start date.
While the wait may seem unbearable for some, they will be able to get their Batman fix in next year’s Justice League. Affleck’s next time in costume figured to be Batman, but with an unconfirmed release date, that remained impossible to confirm. If not, Justice League 2 seemed to be a good bet for the Caped Crusader’s return – though the film has now taken a backseat for his solo movie.
THR is reporting that Justice League 2 has been pushed back to enable Warner Bros. a spot to release Batman. Zack Snyder is reportedly still planning on directing the sequel, but will now be given more time in between projects as Batman has taken the priority. With Justice League 2 said to be “pushed back” because of the solo film, this could point to Batman claiming its previous release date – giving fans a chance to see what Affleck has planned on June 14, 2019.
Even though Justice League has yet to come out, pushing back the sequel in favor of Batman, a film that already has built up a lot of buzz, should work in WB’s favor. This will continue to keep Batman front and center as the DCEU moves forward, but also give audiences a chance to see Batman in a world after the events of Batman V Superman and Justice League. Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke should be a threat that brings Batman back to his roots as a crime fighter, instead of battling intergalactic threats, and doing this in between Justice League films should be better than doing it after.
As of right now there appears to be more interest in what Affleck will do with a solo Batman film than what Snyder will do with a Justice League sequel, which could be another factor in this decision. The reactions to the trailer for the first Justice League have been fairly positive and if the film delivers, there will be a desire to see what else is in store. Yet, this extended time between films will give them a chance to reflect on reactions to the movie and course correct where necessary.
There is a lot of pressure riding on the shoulders of Snyder to make Justice League a movie that will be positively received, and in doing so, even more financially successful than BvS. If Justice League is as great as people hope it will be, Snyder will certainly be back for a fourth time in the DCEU; but if post-production issues arise and the film doesn’t hit, the sequel could be handed over to a different director. Either way, fans of the DCEU should be happy to know The Batman is being prioritized and they should get to see it in the next few years.