Although Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice had its detractors, the film did effectively introduce the DCEU to audiences. Even critics generally agreed that Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Batman was one of the best representations of the Dark Knight in modern cinema. As a result, DC decided to fast-track the Batfleck standalone film and has already brought Jeremy Irons back for Justice League as Alfred.
As a piece of the overall DC Extended Universe, the Batman film could already have a handful of superhero cameos. However, which villain will antagonize Gotham City's protector? Apparently the question should be posed in plural.
According to Birth.Movies.Death, the upcoming Ben Affleck-written and -directed Batman film will have multiple menaces. Their sources suggest that the Affleck-Geoff Johns collaboration will be an attempt to create a sprawling Bat-universe. At this point, though, the film could contain a couple of main baddies and a number of villainous cameos, à la Batman V Superman – perhaps thanks to a visit to Arkham Asylum.
As the first official Batman movie of the DCEU, though, they’ll likely need a major nemesis or two that even casual audiences are already be familiar with – someone like the Penguin or the Riddler. Early speculation centered on the Batman solo-film being a loose adaption of Under the Red Hood. Yet having a presumed-to-be dead Jason Todd battle Batman sounds a little too much like a DC-variation of Winter Soldier.
At this point, though, there has been no official confirmation. Creating an expansive Batman film filled with villains would be a great way to please fans of the franchise. The DCEU already has a penchant for front-loading its characters into its movies. But Johns and Affleck need to be careful not to overload their film. One of the main criticisms leveled against Batman V Superman was that it attempted to put too many elements on-screen. Watching characters watch clips of superheroes slowed down the pace of the film and felt tacked on. But Affleck is an Oscar-winning screenwriter and ought to be able to take advantage of the deep DCEU roster without raising those concerns again.
Once again, this is only a rumor, so there is no guarantee the Batman standalone is heading in this direction. However, if the solo Bat-flick is able to organically blend a number of villains – minus the unnecessary origin stories – the film could pull in a lot of fan and filmgoer interest. And the solo Batman film would be a great way to set the next phase of the DCEU in motion.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is now playing in U.S. theaters. Suicide Squad will arrive on August 5, 2016, followed by Wonder Woman on June 2, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; an untitled DC Film on October 5, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019; an untitled DC film on November 1, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19, 2020. A date for the Batman film has not yet been announced.