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Although the DC Extended Universe has Aquaman, Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984, the franchise's plans for 2020 and beyond are shrouded in mystery. A number of projects have been announced and reported, but it remains to be seen how many of those will actually see the light of day. That being said, one of the DCEU stories that stands a better chance of moving forward is The Batman, which is being written and directed by Matt Reeves. Last week, it was rumored that Reeves' Batman movie would be inspired by Batman: Year One, but now Reeves has debunked that claim, saying that his script is not based on the 1987 story arc written by Frank Miller and illustrated by David Mazzucchelli. Reeves explained:
We're not doing any particular [comic]. Year One is one of the many comic books that I love. We are definitely not doing Year One. It's just exciting to be focused very specifically on a tale that is defining for him and very personal to him. Obviously we're not doing an origin tale or anything like that. We're doing a story that is definitively Batman though and trying to tell a story that's emotional and yet is really about him being the world's greatest detective and all the things that for me, since I was a kid, made me love Batman.
Matt Reeves set the record straight while appearing at the Television Critics Association to plug his upcoming Fox series The Passage (via Slashfilm), noting that rather than adapt Batman: Year One (as Darren Aronofsky tried to do in the early 2000s, albeit in a radically different way) or any storyline in particular, his Batman tale will pull from the overall mythology of Gotham City's shadowy protector. Reeves also mentioned that he's working to get a new draft of The Batman turned in sometime in the next few weeks, and that production could hopefully begin sometime in the spring or early summer of 2019. As for Ben Affleck, who's been long rumored to not be returning for The Batman, Reeves wouldn't directly comment on that matter other than to say that he's still been speaking with the actor.
Although The Batman was originally supposed to be co-written and directed by Ben Affleck, who debuted as the DCEU's Caped Crusader in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Affleck stepped down from those duties early into 2017, and Matt Reeves was brought board to both direct and write a new script from scratch. Since then, there's been no shortage of rumors about the project, and arguably the most popular has been that The Batman will star a younger actor as its eponymous protagonist. With that in mind, the Year One rumor claimed that The Batman would bear a resemblance to that storyline (similar to how Batman v Superman had traces of The Dark Knight Returns in it), with Penguin and a pre-Two-Face Harvey Dent supposedly appearing. It's still possible that The Batman could explore the earlier years of Bruce Wayne's crimefighting career, but now we know that Year One will not be one of the movie's influences.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates about The Batman's progress as they trick in, but for now, feel free to check out what other DCEI projects are in development by browsing through our handy guide.