The next step for the DC Extended Universe will be a trip back in time to the early 20th Century, for an exploration of the origin story for Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. Following that will be the big team-up event Justice League this fall, followed by the release of the Aquaman solo movie (directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa) in the fall of 2018. There's also a strong possibility that the Ben Affleck-directed (and headlined) The Batman DCEU solo film will hit theaters in 2018 too, though exactly when remains up in the air right now.
Affleck has said several times over already that he won't start production on The Batman until he's satisfied with the script for the film (which he is writing with DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns). While his recent comments about The Batman being "not a set thing" have been interpreted by some as being a warning sign that Affleck's commitment to the project is wavering, the actor/filmmaker has since offered a brief assurance that all is, in fact, well in paradise.
At the end of an interview with FOX to promote his period crime drama, Live by Night (which goes into a general theatrical release in the U.S. this month), Affleck provided a quick update on the progress of The Batman and his own involvement as director, saying the project is "good and going." The interview was wrapping up at that point, so there simply wasn't time for Affleck to expound upon that simple, but encouraging sentiment.
Elsewhere on the Internet, Batman on Film reports that according to its source, The Batman is now likely to begin filming this summer, possibly in July. Although Warner Bros. had not previously announced anything official regarding when The Batman would enter principal photography, a spring 2018 production start date has been mentioned by Joe Manganiello (who is playing the villainous Deathstroke in Affleck's DCEU movie) in a couple of interviews to date. In other words, Affleck may start rolling camera later than previously projected, on The Batman.
Affleck's recent comment about The Batman being "not a set thing" prompted a fair amount of speculation that he might be stepping down as director on the project. The situation brings to mind a similar one that emerged last year, when Wan was rumored to be on the verge of quitting Aquaman - something that (obviously) did not happen. While Rick Famuyiwa did unexpectedly step down as the director on the DCEU The Flash solo movie last year, there has not yet been any solid indication that Affleck is planning to follow suit anytime soon, with his own "not a set thing" comment arguably having been blown out of proportion at this stage.
Based on Affleck's comments in general and the rumor from Batman on Film, it sounds as though the Oscar-winning actor/filmmaker may simply be leaning towards a later filming start date now than he was a few months ago, in order to further ensure that The Batman turns out as well as he has promised it will, rather than rush it to its doom. The DCEU certainly doesn't stand to gain anything from having a rushed Batman solo film added to its ranks, so hopefully Affleck will in fact be given the time he wants/needs to make his own Caped Crusader flick a special one.
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020