There are high hopes for Warner Bros.' Hall H panel on Saturday morning of San Diego Comic Con 2015. Teased simply as a "sneak peek at a few upcoming releases", what everyone is really hoping to see is footage from their most anticipated release - Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Already, the film has a had strong presence at Comic Con this year and was prominently promoted ahead of the convention with a slew of new images.
Yet, what we're most anxious for Warner Bros. to reveal while in Hall H is a detailed and longterm plan for their DC cinematic universe beyond Batman v Superman - something more than the releases dates for the films we do know about. In fact it's something we believe WB needs to do in they want to "win" Comic-Con. And this isn't to suggest WB doesn't have just such a plan, but they haven't been as forthcoming as, say, Marvel Studios.
However, we now know another piece of the puzzle thanks to this scoop from Deadline: Ben Affleck is set to co-write a standalone Batman film with DC Comic's Chief Creative Officer and powerhouse writer Geoff Johns. Affleck is also lined up to direct this new Batman film, but the project won't really kick off until after Affleck finishes with his scripted adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel Live By Night (which starts production in Fall 2015).
We've been hearing rumors that WB was planning to give Affleck the reins of their next Batman film for some time, and isn't all too surprising given his many celebrated director credits of late (Gone Baby Gone, Oscar-winning Argo, etc.). But to learn that Affleck will co-write along with a celebrated comic book writer like Johns - that is a bit of a shock.
There's no denying that Johns has played a crucial role in the DC Comics' universe, having written such titles as Batman, Superman, Justice League, Aquaman and more. Even more importantly, Johns was the writer responsible for the recent reboots of both Green Lantern and The Flash that have served as the basis for both character's recent live-action adaptations. Co-writing Batman with Affleck will be John's first film writing credit, but he has written episodes for Arrow, The Flash, Smallville, and the upcoming Supergirl.
As for what Johns will bring to Batman, his most significant contribution to the character was the graphic novel, Batman: Earth One, which was Johns' take on the character's origin. It makes Johns an interesting choice as many are expecting this film to feature the older, more experienced Batfleck of BvS, but then again, Johns' involvement doesn't necessarily mean it must be an origin for the Dark Knight.
Deadline's source goes on to say that Affeck and Johns have really "found their rhythm" while working together, which isn't too surprising given the two are both huge Batman fans. And while there's no mention of when this solo Batman film would release (perhaps we'll learn in Hall H Saturday morning?), it's suggested Affleck and Johns will have the script finished by summer's end.
Are you surprised to learn Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns may be writing Warner Bros' Batman film? What type of story will you expect it to explore? Let us hear what you're thinking in the comments below!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more SDCC coverage throughout the week!