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Since last October’s DC film slate announcement, it’s been hinted that Warner Bros. is planning a solo Batman film following the Caped Crusader’s appearances in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Justice League: Part One. This was further fueled by a rumor earlier this month saying that Affleck will both star (duh) and direct the Batman film (said to be called The Batman). While the details are slightly different, it appears that Affleck is indeed on board, but more surprisingly, he may be working alongside one of DC’s star creators on the project.
According to Deadline, the former Daredevil will co-write the solo Batman film’s script with DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. Affleck will direct and star in the film after he finishes the long-gestating Live By Night. This is a switch from the previous report that stated that Argo’s Chris Terrio would be the film’s scribe. The article notes that Affleck and Johns are “well in synch" and that they have fallen into an easy rhythm. In fact, they're working so well they will likely turn in a draft before the summer is finished. No release date was revealed, although it could be as soon as 2018. This will be Batman’s first solo film since 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.
After serving as Superman director Richard Donner’s production assistant for several years, Johns got his start at DC Comics in 1999 writing the series Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. He’s since gained notoriety for revitalizing stagnant heroes like the Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Aquaman, and Shazam, and his other books have included The Flash, Justice Society of America, Teen Titans, and Superman. More important, however, is that Johns wrote the Batman: Earth One graphic novels, which retell Batman’s origin and early years in a contemporary setting. So he is among the few writers out there who is more than qualified to assist Affleck on the script. In addition to his creative duties at DC Comics, Johns has also written episodes of DC TV shows Smallville, Arrow, and The Flash.
Although Affleck has earned acclaim for projects like Gone Baby Gone and The Town, working with Johns on the script is a good idea. Both are good writers, but by teaming with the man who has written nearly every one of DC’s most famous heroes, it’s practically guaranteed that Affleck will get an even better sense of the character and churn out a faithful script with Johns. Co-writing the film also means Johns will be directly involved with the creative process, unlike what presumably happened with 2011’s Green Lantern.
While we’ll have to wait for official confirmation on this information, fans can look forward to Gotham City’s Dark Knight making his DCCU debut when Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25, 2016.