Ever since Ben Affleck announced that he’d no longer be directing Warner Bros.’ The Batman, it seems to be the only thing that people can talk about. It’s expected, though, as the news came as quite a shock. Admittedly, Big Ben did have his hesitations about taking on the job and had expressed his concerns on more than one occasion, but did anyone actually think he’d ever step down? Probably not, and what it means for the future of the Dark Knight’s solo outing is still very unclear.
Hoping to get to the bottom of things, Forbes has now published a great report about what they think’s going on behind the scenes. There’s a lot of interesting information to digest here, but perhaps the most intriguing nugget comes from their knowledge of the original draft of the script. According to them, The Batman was set to set to feature the Joker. It’s unknown whether or not the film will still include the iconic villain, but here’s Forbes’ quote in full:
“The story for The Batman originally included the assassin Deathstroke as a main villain, with Joe Manganiello cast in the role, as well as a few other likely villainous appearances by characters including the Joker, according to sources familiar with the project.
Jared Leto, who portrayed the Joker in Suicide Squad, has for months expressed his displeasure about the removal of substantial portions of his performance from the final cut of the film, raising questions about whether he would return to the role in future movies. He seems to have softened his stance lately and appears interested in a possible return, but whether he will ultimately be part of The Batman or Gotham City Sirens remains to be seen.”
With The Batman getting a rewrite now that Ben has left the director’s seat, it’s very up in the air in regards to how much of the original story will remain in the final product. The script will definitely change, and how severe those changes are will probably have to do with who ends up coming in to helm and how long it takes the studio to find a replacement for Affleck.
Forbes says that they’ve heard the film may undergo “anything from major rewrites to a completely new script, including starting from scratch on the story if that’s what it takes.” Again, with all the silence and secrecy from Warner Bros. on the matter, it’s impossible to really know what will end up happening.
The part about Leto is quite interesting though, as it seems that despite his initial reaction to how the studio handled his character in Suicide Squad, he’s now more open to the idea of returning, which is definitely a good thing. His portrayal of the Joker was divisive, to be sure, but with a better script and more involvement in the plot, we’d certainly welcome a return and a chance to see what he can really do with the role. After all, you have to believe that he’d be handled better here, right?
We expect Warner Bros. to release an official statement soon, lifting the lid on what exactly’s going on, but until they do, feel free to share your thoughts with us down below and let us know whether or not you think The Batman is in trouble and if you’d like the Clown Prince of Crime to show up.