The new year has just begun and 2017 has already got the ball rolling with some more scoops for you to sink your teeth in.
In the latest to break, Ben Affleck was interviewed by The Guardian, wherein Affleck opened up about the state of his production company, Pearl Street Films, as well as shedding a bit of light on his upcoming film, The Batman.
What's Happening With Ben Affleck's Batman Film
#BenAffleck is apparently directing and starring in a standalone #Batman film for DC's Extended Universe. The film's working title has been deemed "The Batman" but nothing official has been announced yet.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, the production company behind the DC Extended Universe hasn't commented on or given the standalone Batman film a release date either so the film's fate is still to be determined. More importantly, Ben Affleck was recently quoted questioning whether or not he'd even develop the film.
In his interview with The Guardian, Affleck spoke on the fate of his Batman film and where it stands in development.
..word is that he (Ben Affleck) will get to direct his own superhero movie, tentatively titled The Batman.
Ben Affleck: "That’s the idea. But it’s not a set thing and there’s no script. If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great I’m not going to do it.”
A Batman Standalone Will Probably Happen Anyway, It Just Won't Be Directed By Ben Affleck
Affleck's words are quite vague which might have no meaning at all but the implications of his quote to The Guardian could potentially see Affleck's Batman film put off indefinitely. That said, just because Ben Affleck "might" not make his Batman film, that doesn't mean another Batman film (developed by a different director) won't take it's place.
Of course Affleck would have to return to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman but he would likely only fill an acting capacity, rather than contributing to the script or directing the film. If so, the possibility of a standalone Batman film being developed by another director could see some fan-favorite stories from DC comics play out, rather than Affleck's intention for #Deathstroke and Batman to be at the center of his film.
Keeping those things in mind, the impending cancellation of Ben Affleck's Batman film might not be a bad thing after all. It would present an ideal opportunity for DC and Warner Bros. to cash in on some seriously underutilized titles that fans would love to see depicted on screen as well.
There are lots of worthy DC stories that could believably become the basis for a standalone Batman film, here are three that are definitely worth considering.
Batman's Telltale Series
(Spoilers for Batman: The Telltale Series follows)
As probably one of the most compelling tellings of Bruce Wayne's story within the DC universe, the #BatmanTheTelltaleSeries has to be one of the most intriguing interpretations of Batman / Bruce Wayne's stories ever conceived.
In Batman's Telltale Series, Bruce Wayne learns of many long, lost family secrets which come back to cause havoc and mayhem in Bruce's life. After finding out that his family only became as prosperous as it did because of political corruption, Bruce attempts to go on the offensive to defend his family name but it's no good. It takes Bruce's stand against the criminal element in Gotham to finally redeem his family name in some remarks but there's still a lot of work to be done.
As to why that story could be applicable to the aforementioned Batman film is because it's about time we get a Batman film that isn't just about Batman. It goes without saying, but a lot of the time, we forget that the man underneath the cowl is much more Batman than the shadowy figure we all relate to Batman so a story which highlights #BruceWayne, rather than just how Bruce Wayne is Batman in his spare time.
#LadyArkham is an original creation for Batman's Telltale Series, as it rewrites Vicki Vale's origins to give her a new past as a troubled youth, turned maniac criminal.
In most iterations of her character, Vicki Vale is a reporter who follows the Batman's activities in Gotham City. She's very straight forward and sometimes cutthroat when it comes to getting a scoop but she's never been portrayed as a villain before.
In Batman's Telltale Series, Vicki Vale takes on the masked alias of Lady Arkham as she sets out for revenge on Bruce Wayne. Holding a grudge against his family, #VickiVale poses as a reporter until the moment she catches Bruce Wayne off guard and poisons him. After revealing herself to be Lady Arkham, Vicki Vale ditches her identity to truly become Lady Arkham.
Lady Arkham has all the traits we look for in a worthwhile villain and the character should definitely be in contention for a role in an upcoming DC film, which is why Batman' s Telltale Series would be great as the basis for a film. Batman's Telltale Series even plays out like a movie, despite being labeled a videogame. Yes, Batman's Telltale Series is an interactive videogame but the story is so well developed that it could easily be mistaken for an animated film - a well written film at that.
Another story that would play out great in the DC' Extended Universe would be the Batman Beyond storyline. Conceived as a comic and then channeled into an animated series, the #BatmanBeyond title has caught the eye of a lot of viewers. There's even a current line of comics which continues the story that began with Bruce Wayne / Batman recruiting Terry McGinnis to takeover for him as Batman.
In the Batman Beyond comics, the story takes place in a not-too-distant future wherein Bruce Wayne has become too old to suit up as Batman and now needs a replacement. Bruce is out of active duty for some time before he comes into contact with Terry McGinnis, and in that time, Gotham devolves into a hotbed of criminal activity and gang rule. When Bruce Wayne meets Terry McGinnis, their meeting is quite unusual but their initial meeting results in Terry McGinnis becoming the new Batman.
In regards to why the Batman Beyond story would be ideal for DC's Extended Universe mainly has to do with DC's current Batman. There's nothing wrong with Ben Affleck or the Batman he's brought to life but the age of the character is drawn into question here.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice established that Bruce Wayne is in his elder years and he's getting towards that age where he'll no longer be able to suit up as Batman so when that time comes, Ben Affleck will likely stick around to portray Bruce Wayne but he won't be suiting up as Batman alongside the rest of the Justice League.
When that happens, the vacancy for someone to become DC's new Batman could be filled by a character like Terry McGinnis which is why a Batman Beyond storyline would be appropriate for the current state of DC's Extended Universe, and a perfect story to base a standalone Batman film on.
As one of the fan-favorite suggestions floating around out there, a call for Nightwing has been proposed by many fans. A lot of talk around the rumor mill of entertainment news began to spread when Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy seemed to end on a cliffhanger that would see Robin (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) become a Batman-esque vigilante; possibly #Nightwing. There was no follow up to that apparent cliffhanger but fans have been skeptical of what might have been, had Christopher Nolan's trilogy expanded into more films.
Since then, fan outcry for a live-action portrayal of Nightwing has increased, more so now that Warner Bros' plan to formulate a collective superhero universe of their own is in full swing. With that in mind, this is the ideal time for fan-favorite characters like Nightwing to receive the live-action treatment.
Warner Bros. Entertainment has their collective movie universe set up for the next three years but the "extended" universe still has spots where characters like Nightwing can be established. There's even a possibility that Dick Grayson, otherwise known as Robin / Nightwing will make his way into David Ayer's Sirens.
Sirens will be based off of the #GothamCitySirens line of comics, wherein Harley Quinn, Catwoman, and Poison Ivy band together for some mischievous fun. At the same time, Bruce Wayne is presumed dead and Dick Grayson takes over for him as Batman.
Only an announcement of the film has been made so far, no details on the plot or which characters the film will feature have been divulged - other than Margot Robbie returning to reprise her role as Harley Quinn. That said, if Sirens presents us with a world identical to that of the Gotham City Sirens comics, then it's reasonable to assume that Dick Grayson will suit up as Batman - or at least be suited up as Nightwing in Sirens.
If that does come to pass, the standalone Batman film would be the ideal place for a character like Dick Grayson / Nightwing to be fully developed since Sirens will focus on the all-female team of villains, there won't be enough time to devote to a character like Nightwing which is why a further exploration of Nightwing could be perfect for DC's upcoming Batman film.
All things said, any number of things could happen to Ben Affleck's Batman film that result in the story developed by Affleck being completely scrapped, leaving the standalone Batman film without a main focus.
Ben Affleck hasn't made any decisions yet on whether or not he'll be directing the film but with the way things are going, it appears as if Affleck's Batman film may not come to be. In that scenario, any number of comic stories could believably become the basis of the feature, instead of Affleck's vision for the film which would see Batman come face to face with Deathstroke. All the more reason for stories like the ones developed in Batman's Telltale Series and Batman Beyond to have a substantial influence on the next Batman film if it turns out that Ben Affleck isn't directing.
What do you think? If Ben Affleck's Batman film crashes and burns, which of these stories would you want to see replace it? And what other stories would you want to see in a standalone Batman film? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.