Knowing that The Batman had hit a few speed bumps in recent memory, devout followers of the Dark Knight such as myself breathed a sigh of relief when Matt Reeves was confirmed to take Ben Affleck’s place as director. Not only that, but Joe Manganiello, Deathstroke himself, made a statement that seemingly instilled some confidence in us all, saying things were on track despite there being no hard start date.
Well, today I got to wake up to a cold bucket of water to the face.
But before we proceed any further, let’s re-read Manganiello’s quote from his interview with Robert Irvine Magazine so everything can properly be put in perspective:
“Last year, I said May and that was my understanding. It depends. They have big plans for this movie. Whether or not we start exactly on that date or in June, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. Here’s the thing: The creative process needs to be respected and no one involved in this film wants to make anything less than an unbelievable film, a legendary film. The movie will start shooting whenever those pieces are in place and we know this is gonna be something that we’re proud of. What we’re not gonna do is be backed into a start date, scrambling to get something off the ground just to get it off the ground.
“Everyone involved wants to make this the best film possible, so that’s really what it’s about. It’s funny how the media likes to run with, ‘Oh there’s trouble!’ ‘Oh, the script needs to be revised!’ They’re drama queens. There’s a creative process, and everyone on the cast and crew wants to make this the best movie possible. So that’s what we’re gonna do. When we start shooting it, we’ll start shooting it. It will be soon, I can say that. Here’s the thing: No one wants to create that superhero movie that’s polarizing to fans and critics. Rest assured, we’re gonna do this thing right.”
Now, you can understand why spirits were lifted a little, right? Well, as it turns out, those bold words weren’t spoken as recently as we were led to believe. The truth came to light as Batman-on-Film’s Bill “Jett” Ramey took to Twitter and flat out asked Robert Irvine Magazine’s Matthew Tuthill when the interview took place and got the following response:
@BATMANONFILM Before Affleck stepped down as director and Reeves came on. But I have no reason to think he’d take any of it back.
— Matthew Tuthill (@MCTuthill) March 9, 2017
To be honest, I have to agree with Ramey in saying that this changes everything. It’s also a solid bet that Manganiello stands by his statement, but this does nothing but fuel speculation as to when cameras will start rolling. If they hold off until after Justice League, it’s probably to gauge whether Affleck wants to say on board given the film’s success. But if the ball gets rolling before then, it would be a firm statement that Reeves, Affleck and all involved have the utmost confidence in the DCEU. Needless to say, the next seven or eight months should be interesting indeed.
Regardless of what happens on that front, my gut still tells me that The Batman will arrive in cinemas at some point in 2019, just in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman.