The standalone Batman flick has had a rocky start to 2017, but it wasn't exactly on solid footing before then. Between a not-so-enticing cinematic universe to tie into, a script that refuses to materialize, and directing changes, Bat-fans have never had much solid footing for The Batman (if that's even its real title). Strap on your Bat-remembrance-goggles and take a look back...
Batman v Superman gives it a Sadfleck start
Coming just a few years after the conclusion of Christopher Nolan's generally well-liked Batman trilogy, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (opens in new tab) had to sell audiences on a new interpretation of Bruce Wayne. Ben Affleck's performance as the playboy and champion brooder was one of the film's few highlights, but guilt-by-association isn't a great start for a new interpretation of a beloved character…
Affleck wants a detective story but doesn't have a script in June 2016
"I think [Warner Bros. have] a date for it," Affleck said (opens in new tab). "Although, I don't know if I would necessarily be able to make that date because I don't have a script that's ready yet. So my timetable is I'm not going to make a movie until there's a script that I think is good".
It sort of gets a filming date in September 2016
After months of wishy-washiness from then-actor/writer/director Ben Affleck, it was the CEO of Warner Bros. who indicated in September 2016 that filming was set to begin 18 months later (opens in new tab). Whether Affleck agreed is another matter.
Still no script as of December 2016
You need a script to make a movie (opens in new tab), that's just science.
Affleck steps down as director in January 2017
Both being the Batman and directing The Batman proved too much for Ben Affleck (opens in new tab). He did a fine job of the double-role with political thriller Argo (opens in new tab) back in 2012, but it sounded like it was too much pressure here: “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give," Affleck wrote. "It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film."
A fresh start (and likely a delay) in February 2017
Well, nevermind all that business: it sounds like Warner Bros. decided to start the whole thing over again (opens in new tab) with a new director, a new script, and a delayed release date of 2019. The current rumored frontrunner for the director role is War for the Planet of the Apes' Matt Reeves, but pretty much everything else about the movie is up for grabs.
C'mon folks, I know nobody wants to make the next Batman & Robin, but this is getting ridiculous.
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Top image: Warner Bros.