The Batman - written and directed by Matt Reeves - reportedly begins production in December 2019, ahead of a planned 2021 release date. Arguably the most popular superhero of all time, Batman has had a long, strange trip when it comes to big screen adventures. The Caped Crusader - along with his billionaire alter ego Bruce Wayne - debuted in theaters in 1966, starring Adam West in an offshoot of the campy 1960s TV series. Batman didn't return to live-action films until 1989, with Michael Keaton in the lead and under the direction of Tim Burton.
Burton returned for 1992's Batman Returns, which didn't prove as successful as its predecessor at the time, although now it stands as something of a cult classic. 1995's Batman Forever saw Val Kilmer don the cape and cowl, with Joel Schumacher taking over as director, and embracing the rarely tapped camp value of Gotham City once more. 1997's Batman & Robin - also helmed by Schumacher - took that attitude up to eleven, with George Clooney as Batman. By 2005, Christopher Nolan had rescued the character via his Christian Bale-led Dark Knight trilogy, leading to the greatest level of acclaim yet for Batman movies.
Bale's run as Batman was of course followed by the most recent live-action film incarnation, Ben Affleck in the DCEU. Affleck starred in both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League, interacting with Superman and Wonder Woman on the big screen for the first time. However, Affleck is now out, and writer/director Reeves has been left to once again reinvent the costumed crimefighter with his upcoming film The Batman. It's not yet known who'll take over for Affleck in the lead role, but Production Weekly (via Comic Book) now reports that The Batman will begin production in December 2019.
While this report isn't official confirmation of The Batman's production schedule, it does fit with a recent tweet by Reeves himself that the film was likely to begin filming before the end of 2019. Either way, we've reached out to Warner Bros. for comment on the matter. There's still little known about The Batman's plot, although Reeves reportedly wants to cast a younger actor in the role, and a recent report suggested it might be set in the 1990s.
With The Batman having already received a 2021 release date, a production start of late 2019 should allow Reeves and company the time they need to get this latest take on Batman right. While many grew to like Affleck's version of Batman and Bruce Wayne, the movies surrounding him were riddled with problems, and often gave DC's legendary hero short shrift. It's about time Batman once again gets his due on the big screen.
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