Matt Reeves has been open in letting it be known that he wouldn’t have agreed to direct The Batman if he’d been boxed in by the confines of DCEU continuity.
As it happened, Warner Bros. were looking to make a clean break from the SnyderVerse after Joss Whedon’s theatrical edition of Justice League cratered at the box office, while Ben Affleck made it clear he was no longer enjoying his residency as the franchise’s canonical Caped Crusader.
It’s all worked out in the end, then, with The Batman earning rave reviews from critics, while Affleck follows up his return in the Snyder Cut with a supporting role in November’s The Flash. It looks as though everybody gets a happy ending in this instance, and Reeves explained to The Toronto Sun why he never had any intention of reading from the DCEU playbook.
“I felt to do a standalone Batman film for the first time in 10 years, I needed to make sure that Batman was at the center and that we weren’t trying to keep all these other planes up in the air. Doing a Batman film is daunting; you are taking on some great history and there are some really great Batman films. So I felt like that would have been too much. Thankfully, [Warner Bros.] said I could do that.
But as we continued — I was finishing off [War For the Planet of the] Apes – Ben was re-evaluating what he wanted to do in his life. When he decided he didn’t want to be Batman anymore, I said, ‘I really want to hold on to this idea that this isn’t going to be a part of the DCEU and now we can create a new Batman.’ That’s kind of how it evolved to this place.”
Affleck opting to step down may have robbed fans of his movie, something they’ve been campaigning to see for the last five years, but we’re nonetheless getting The Batman out of the bargain, and Snyder’s Dark Knight will be back on our screens before the end of the year to satiate his supporters.