Massive Batman Updates That Came Out Of James Gunn's DC Presentation

There were so many questions heading into James Gunn and Peter Safran’s presentation regarding the future slate of upcoming DC Movies and television shows, and a good number of them were answered by the details we received. A new Superman movie, written by Gunn (and possibly directed by him, as well). A Wonder Woman prequel series that’s set in Themyscira and modeled after Game of Thrones? Sign me up. But Batman was a character that had a lot of loose threads – between the existence of the Matt Reeves BatVerse, and the possibility of Ben Affleck appearing in The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. But Gunn clarified some major details regarding the Caped Crusader, and we’re going over all of them right now. 

One of the movies announced on the DC slate, on the movies side, was The Brave and the Bold, a Batman and Robin movie that will be part of the DCU proper. But we also have updates on Reeves’s planned sequel with Robert Pattinson, and the state of Affleck in the new DCU slate. Read on to learn what he found out from James Gunn and Peter Safran.

The Batman

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Robert Pattinson’s Batman

So, there will primarily be a main slate of DCU movies that all will be working toward telling one larger, more integrated story over the course of the next eight to 10 years. But Gunn did say that there will be Elseworld stories that can exist outside of the DCU, and that’s where we will find the continuing stories of the Matt Reeves universe. The Batman was a big success for DC, and even went on to earn a few Academy Awards nominations. Rumblings of a sequel have been brewing, and now we know when to expect it.

As part of the announcement of the DCU slate, Gunn told us that Matt Reeves’s The Batman – Part II will arrive in theaters on October 3, 2025. An October Batman movie? Let the speculation for an adaptation of The Long Halloween to begin! There was no mention of a villain for the sequel, but we know that Reeves wants to continue building out the Gotham that he introduced in the 2021 thriller, possibly giving more screen time to Barry Keoghan’s messed up Joker character while also allowing Robert Pattinson to better lay claim to the part of both Bruce Wayne and The Batman. 

So, mark your calendars, Reeves fans. Because outside of Superman: Legacy getting a July 11, 2025 date, the October date for The Batman – Part II is the only concrete date set by Gunn and Safran. 

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

(Image credit: DC Films)

The Brave and the Bold

Longtime DC Comics readers will recognize the title The Brave and the Bold as a reference to a series that started running in the 1950s, and covered stories for all manner of hero. What started as an anthology comic for characters such as the Viking Prince or Robin Hood eventually came to be a title that contemporary DC fans associate with Batman and Robin, and that will be the focus of the new movie that’s coming to the DCU.

The Batman introduced in this movie will be brand new. Meaning, it’s not centered on Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne, and it will not cast Ben Affleck in the role that he started playing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

As Gunn told CinemaBlend during his exclusive DC presentation, this will be a father-son story that hews close to the Grant Morrison run of comics that introduced readers to Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son from a consensual relationship with Talia Al Ghul. As Gunn revealed to CinemaBlend:

This is the introduction of the DCU's Batman. It is not Robert Patson. It is not Ben Affleck. … This is the story of Damian Wayne, who is Batman's actual son, who he didn't know existed for the first eight to 10 years of his life. He was raised as a little murderer and assassin. He's a little son of a bitch. He's my favorite Robin. It's based on the Grant Morrison comic book run, which is one of my favorite Batman runs. And we are putting that all together right now.

Damian Wayne is not your traditional Boy Wonder. Given the fact that he’s also Talia Al Ghul’s son, he gets trained by the League of Assassins to be a near-perfect killing machine, who arrives in Gotham with a significant chip on his shoulder. Sometimes, he even scares Batman with the lengths that he is willing to go to stop criminals. The overconfident Damian sees himself as Bruce’s equal (perhaps his superior), and the dynamic he has with Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon can also be fascinating.

Speaking of the other role players in Batman’s soap opera, James Gunn’s partner, DC Films co-CEO Pater Safran, did elaborate more on The Brave and the Bold, saying:

This is obviously a feature film, and it's going to feature other members of the extended Bat family. Just because we feel like they've been left out of Batman’s stories in the theaters for far too long.

That’s very exciting news for Batman fans who might still be upset that Batgirl was cancelled, or who want to see Robin (and possibly Nightwing) in live action in a DC movie. But it’s bad news for our last guy in the rundown.

Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Ben Affleck’s Batman

Every indication from James Gunn and Peter Safran about this slate is that it’s a clean start. They commented that The Flash movie, which Gunn raved about, is resetting everything, and that all of the stories that begin with Superman: Legacy and continue forward will be in canon with the larger story that they want to tell.

Which means R.I.P. Batfleck. 

There will be time (years, I’m sure) to debate what could have been for Ben Affleck’s Batman. He had his own script for a solo Batman movie, which he wanted to direct. He would have been an integral part of the larger story Zack Snyder wanted to tell with his universe. But once he appears in The Flash, that likely will be the end of Affleck’s Batman… though not the end of Affleck. 

When asked if Affleck was in line to direct The Brave and the Bold, despite not starring in it, Safran told CinemaBlend: 

No, no, no. We're just talking to Ben, in general, about stuff.

To which Gunn elaborated:

We and Ben have not said, together… we’re talking about two different projects. … Henry (Cavill) and Ben are not a part of this universe.

Personally, I think it’s great that Gunn and Safran have had conversations with Ben Affleck to direct something in the DC universe. The man clearly is a fan of the characters – and not just Batman, but of the world in general – and tapping into his passion, as well as his skills behind the camera, makes all the sense in the world. Give him episodes of the Lantern series on HBO Max, or let him helm The Authority (if Gunn doesn’t grab that one, himself). 

Either way, the future looks very bright for Batman. Pattinson and Reeves will continue their vision. The DCU will have its own Caped Crusader, in time. And Batman’s stories will continue to entertain for years to come. 

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.