J.K. Simmons reveals he has not yet met with The Batman director Matt Reeves, but is looking forward to the collaboration if and when it happens. After the critical and commercial underperformance of Justice League last fall, the unofficially titled DC Extended Universe is in a state of flux. Warner Bros. has instituted a number of changes at the top of the food chain in an effort to course correct and get the franchise back on track so it can be a reliable tentpole for them for years to come.
It goes without saying Batman is a big part of the studio’s plans given the character’s immense popularity, but there are several questions surrounding the Caped Crusader’s cinematic future as well. After stepping down as Batman director, star Ben Affleck is allegedly noncommittal to Reeves’ project or the longterm outlook of the DCEU. As Reeves works on trying to get all the pieces lined up, Simmons – his would-be Commissioner Gordon – is waiting for the call.
In an interview with Collider, the actor was asked about his upcoming role in the DC Films universe after having a cameo in Justice League. As far as Simmons is concerned, The Batman has yet to officially move forward, though he’s hopeful for a chance to flesh out the character some:
“Assuming that we’re gonna go forward, the way we think it will, I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully, it will be really fun and the character will expand a little bit, particularly in the stand-alone Batman movie. There will be more to do. I guess it’s Matt Reeves now for that one, who I haven’t met. So, it will be a whole new collaborator to get together and work with, hopefully.”
It’s no cause for concern Simmons hasn’t sat down with his director yet. The Batman has no confirmed production timeline or release date, so the creative team is still in the process of pre-production. The biggest question at the current time remains Affleck’s involvement. Simmons, it appears, is game to reprise Gordon in the standalone, meaning it’s more important at this stage for Reeves to figure out who his Bruce Wayne will be. Per the latest rumors, the mixed reception of the franchise as a whole hasn’t sat well with Affleck (who said earlier he’s searching for a way to bow out), while the studio is turned off by Affleck’s refusal to essentially be DC’s Robert Downey, Jr. as the face of the brand. If Affleck does step down, Jake Gyllenhaal is the presumed favorite to take over.
Ideally, this will all be resolved in the near future. It would be something of a disappointment to see Affleck depart following just two movies, considering his interpretation of the Dark Knight was well-received by critics and fans. At the same time, it’s understandable why leaving the DCEU would have its appeal, seeing that it would free him up to work on other films like his proposed Witness for the Prosecution remake. Since WB has a couple of mystery DC films lined up for 2020, they’ll probably have to make some announcements soon, and then Simmons can finally cross paths with Reeves about where to take Gordon next.
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