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The Batman has been through a few creative shakeups since the start of 2017, but it remains one of the DC Extended Universe's most anticipated projects. After seeing Batman as a co-lead in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, as well as his cameo in Suicide Squad, Ben Affleck's Caped Crusader will finally be leading his own story. It's long been assumed that The Batman would expand the hero's mythology in the DCEU, either revisiting him post-Justice League or perhaps going the Wonder Woman route and delivering a prequel showing what he was up to pre-Batman v Superman. However, now director Matt Reeves has called that into question, as one of his recent comments seems to imply that this Batman movie is unconnected to the DCEU. While chatting about the project, Reeves said the following:
When they approached me, what they said was, 'Look, it's a standalone. This isn't part of the extended universe.'
That's a surprising statement, to be sure, but taking a step back, there are two ways we could look at what Matt Reeves said during his interview with KCRW's The Business. One is we take him literally and assume that The Batman will not exist within the DCEU canon, despite the fact that Ben Affleck is still expected to play Gotham City's protector. It was reported yesterday that a new DC films banner is being put together that will tell one-off movies that aren't tied to this shared universe, including a Joker origin story. So even though Ben Affleck would be reprising Batman, this movie would allow them deliver a tale that isn't restricted by the DCEU's history.
On the other hand, Matt Reeves may just be speaking loosely when he says The Batman isn't part of this extended universe. It would still exist the same DCEU continuity, but the references to Batman's Justice League life or other corners of DC Comics would be few or nonexistent, much like how Doctor Strange was one of the more self-contained movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This seems like the likelier approach given that Affleck's Batman is most recognizable as one of the DCEU's integral superheroes. Let's also not forget that Warner Bros featured The Batman's logo during San Diego Comic-Con while listing many of the upcoming DC movies, the rest of which are also considered DCEU entries.
In any case, Matt Reeves is still tackling The Batman movie with care, even mentioning that it's not being plotted out as the first chapter of a trilogy, but just as one standalone movie for now. He also added:
For me, I want to use the same approach that I've taken to everything, which is to find a personal way in, to do it from point of view, perspective. To make it emotional. I think there's a way to do a story about that character that's really engaging.
Matt Reeves boarded The Batman this past February after Ben Affleck dropped out as director in late January. Since Reeves is rewriting the script from scratch, no plot details have been made public yet, including whether or not Joe Manganiello's Deathstroke will remain the villain.
Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how The Batman is coming along. In the meantime, you can browse through our handy guide showing all the DC projects that are in various forms of development.