After Wonder Woman, there was a brief period when the DCEU looked to be back on track. Then came the big fat mess of Justice League, which likely marks the final time we’ll see Ben Affleck in the Batsuit. Jake Gyllenhaal is apparently poised to take over the role from him in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, which is currently in pre-production, but what would a Gyllenhaal/Reeves Dark Knight pic look like?
After the failure of Justice League, will they jettison the increasingly wobbly DCEU and make it a solo film, or perhaps head back way before Man of Steel and show us the prime of the DCEU Batman? Well, inside sources at Warner Bros. have now told former Latino-Review writer Mario-Francisco Robles that it’ll be neither. Word is that DC are ploughing ahead with their cinematic universe, saying in concrete terms: “The Batman will not be a prequel or reboot. It’s the JL [Justice League] Batman.”
Isn’t Jake Gyllenhaal obviously younger than Ben Affleck, though? A big part of DCEU Batman is his lengthy superhero experience and role as the Dad of the team. Well, according to the source, “JG will be almost 40 when The Batman is out. He’s still operated for 20 years, but his age will be less of the focus.” To that end, the film will apparently maintain Justice League‘s supporting cast, meaning we’ll see J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon, Jeremy Irons as Alfred and perhaps even Jared Leto’s Joker.
There was a time when I’d have been willing to give Warner Bros. the benefit of the doubt on their production decisions, but I think it’s going to be a really tough sell for audiences to accept Gyllenhaal stepping into Affleck’s shoes without some kind of in-universe justification. Don’t you?
If that were the end of the story I’d be pretty worried about The Batman‘s current direction. Fortunately, though, there is some good news. Apparently, Reeves wants to make this a crime film and dive deep into the Batman mythos. Not only that, but he’s been closely examining David Fincher movies like Seven, Zodiac and The Game with the intention of making The Batman a grounded and gritty crime drama. If nothing else, that sounds promising, so fingers crossed that Reeves’ pic has a smoother ride to screens than Justice League did.