After the recent news that Zack Snyder’s Justice League sequel would be delayed to make room for a solo Batman adventure, director Ben Affleck has confirmed that production is scheduled to begin early next year.
Appearing at a screening of his latest directorial effort, Live By Night, Affleck confirmed to Variety that development on the film – tentatively called The Batman – was moving along according to plan, and that he expected to begin shooting in the spring.
“We’re on the right track with that and everything is coming together. We’re still finishing up a script. I’m very excited.”
Affleck is keenly aware of the pressures that come with crafting a new story for the iconic character, especially in the wake of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, which many consider the definitive cinematic version of Batman.
But Affleck is also an accomplished filmmaker in his own right, with multiple awards under his belt, and he’s trying not to focus on those who have come before.
“I respect all of those [Batman] movies. Christopher Nolan did an incredible job, Christian Bale did an incredible job, Tim Burton did an incredible job. At a certain point you have to look forward and try to believe in your own vision for it and not be looking over your shoulder the whole time.
“I go into that movie with a tremendous amount of respect for the people who came before me.”
Affleck co-wrote the screenplay with DC Comics legend Geoff Johns, and while little is known about the plot of The Batman, Joe Manganiello has been confirmed to appear as Slade Wilson, better known to fans as the assassin Deathstroke. Other rumors claim the film will be set in Arkham Asylum, with cameos from several Batman villains, but no word yet on whether there’s any truth to those stories.
Affleck has been hesitant to confirm a release date for The Batman, but former Warner Bros. president Greg Silverman recently told Deadline the film would hit theaters in 2018.
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