The Batman branch of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has remained in flux ever since rumors of Ben Affleck’s desire to vacate the role started doing the rounds. Now, with official confirmation that Affleck will no longer be playing Batman, per The Inquisitr, the standalone film The Batman — directed by Matt Reeves — can get off the ground. In an unplanned Q&A session on his Twitter account, the director shared some updates about the film that’s been long in development, as well as one of his inspirations for the tone of the film.
Recent reports from Comic Book show that after Affleck’s exit from the role, The Batman will be casting a much younger actor as Batman. The story is reported to be something of an origin story, complete with a younger character. Affleck’s portrayal of the character in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and in Justice League showed the character as being more of a veteran — aged and weathered from the wear and tear of the physical demands that come with being a non-powered superhero.
Matt Reeves’ film will apparently go in a different direction, as most DCEU movies are beginning to focus on more of the individual stories, rather than an interconnected universe.
On Twitter, the director was casually asked when The Batman will begin production. Reeves confirmed that shooting for the prequel, or possibly entirely standalone film, will begin “sometime around year’s end.”
Looking like sometime around year’s end.— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 15, 2019
The biggest takeaway, however, from Reeves’ impromptu Twitter interactions is his reported inspiration for the tone and approach for The Batman. Reeves was casually asked by a fan whether the noir approach to Batman that he described earlier, as reported by Syfy, will be directly based on Chinatown. To this Reeves replied that he had watched the film numerous times prior to writing — presumably speaking of The Batman script.
I watched it at WB before writing... (For the one millionth time; what a great movie.) https://t.co/CxYMAYy53O— Matt Reeves (@mattreevesLA) March 15, 2019
Chinatown is considered one of the greatest screenplays ever written, to the point where its script is studied and taught as an example of a masterful screenplay. The film sees Jack Nicholson as a private eye in a neo-noir story about land scandals, water crises, murder, infidelity, and big money. The movie is very much a detective story, and Reeves seems to hint that The Batman will follow suit.
The Batman currently has no star cast in its lead role, however, and has a release date of June 21, 2021.