Matt Reeves' The Batman may not exist within the DC Extended Universe. Warner Bros. Pictures' recently launched DCEU hasn't gone according to plan with regard to their original slate of releases. Aside from the first batch of films, which ended with Zack Snyder's Justice League this past November, the only other movie on the docket that has remained on schedule in David F. Sandberg's Shazam!, but that doesn't mean the studio isn't busy working on a slew of other films, such as The Batman solo film.
Ben Affleck made his official debut as Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, in Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 - a follow-up to the filmmaker's 2013 Superman origin film, Man of Steel - and he briefly reprised his role in David Ayer's Suicide Squad later that year and then again in Snyder's Justice League last year. At the moment, Affleck's future in the DCEU remains in question, with the actor recently stating that he wants to find a "cool way to segue out" of the role, which means he most likely won't be appearing in Reeves' The Batman solo film (and possible trilogy). However, according to a new rumor, Affleck may not need to appear in The Batman in order to continue playing the Caped Crusader on the big screen.
Batman on Film reports that Matt Reeves' The Batman may exist outside of the DCEU and remain within its own continuity. The site stresses that this is merely a rumor at this point, but it's also one that falls in-line with previous reports of the filmmaker looking to cast a new Batman (perhaps Jake Gyllenhaal?) in his solo film.
This news comes on the heels of Warner Bros.' executive shakeup for DC Films and restructuring the way they green-light projects. Plus, it falls in-line with reports that the studio plans on launching a DC banner - an Elseworlds-type division - separate from the DCEU, which they will use to develop a number of projects that aren't beholden to an established continuity. Among their first projects is a Joker origin film from Martin Scorsese and The Hangover's Todd Philips. It's certainly possible that The Batman could join fall under that new banner.
Another point Batman on Film makes is that Affleck is looking to play Batman at least one more time before retiring his cowl. A previous report stated that Affleck is expected to reprise his role as the Caped Crusader in DC's upcoming Flashpoint adaptation, starring Ezra Miller as The Flash. An appearance in that film, or possibly in Gavin O'Connor's Suicide Squad 2, will complete Affleck's contractual obligations to play Batman three times on-screen (not counting 2016's Suicide Squad). Unfortunately, doing so would no longer obligate him to appear in The Batman.
Source: Batman on Film
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