Posted by: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow: @BATMANONFILM)
February 12, 2013

UPDATE #2 (2/14/13): As it usually is with the internet, original stories are altered and misinterpreted as it’s picked up by outlet after outlet after outlet. Case in point, my recent story regarding how the solo Batman film might be affected by all the troubles Warner Bros. is experiencing with their Justice League project (see below).

Let me set the story straight…

Per others "in the know," Warner Bros. is still planning on releasing a Justice League film AND the rebooted Batman will, as previously reported, be introduced in this movie. So when will JUSTICE LEAGUE hit theaters? Probably not in 2015 as planned -- though there still isn't any official information from Warner Bros. one way or the other. I don’t know where this Justice League movie in 2021” thing comes from. Well, I actually do. If the first solo Batman film doesn’t hit theaters ‘til 2019 -- for whatever reason -- people are simply assuming “JL in 2021.”

My source was answering my “What if” questions in regards to the future of the Batman film franchise and how it might be affected by other projects. Such as, “What if Warner Bros. continues to have problems developing Justice League?” (They might reboot Batman in a solo film first.) What if MAN OF STEEL is a huge hit?" (They'd have a franchise to hang their hat on while developing other projects -- including a JL film.) What if the new Batman is introduced in JUSTICE LEAGUE and the film is a flop?" (That could definitely hurt the next solo Batman series.) Etc., etc.

Look, Warner Bros. desperately wants a Justice League film – sooner rather than later. I am not, and never have, disputed that fact. They've got an itch called "Justice League" that's not going to scratched 'til a JL film is in the can and released to theaters -- good or bad.

Stay tuned, BOF will keep you posted on everything. As another FOBOF told me just last night via a IM chat, "Warner Bros. will have changed their minds a million times about Batman [on film] before you and I are finished here."

UPDATE #1 (2/13/13): I’ve seen that several in my brethren in this sort of media have picked up the story that you’ll read below. While these outlets have reported the story accurately for the most part, there’s a few things being assumed or interpreted incorrectly being injected into these reports that just ain’t what I originally reported. LIKE THESE TWO THINGS…

* “A Justice League movie is being pushed ‘til 2021.”

What?! Read below, I NEVER said that! Look, I have NO idea when – if ever – we’ll see a JL movie. Despite all the negative news about the project, WB definitely has a “Justice League Movie Jones.” Thus, WB might dig their heals into the ground and put out a JL film hell or high water.

*MAN OF STEEL was originally conceived to set up a unified cinematic DC Universe.”

That’s one of the biggest BS stories/misconceptions about MOS that has been, and is still being reported. Listen to me, MAN OF STEEL was NEVER intended to setup a JL movie or the DCU on film.

Got that?

MOS is intended to do the same thing for Superman that BATMAN BEGINS did for Batman. And the LAST thing that needs to happen is for this film to be hijacked by Warner Bros. simply to satisfy their Justice League jones.

With all that said, continue on for the original report…

Could Warner Bros.' JUSTICE LEAGUE's problems
push back the next solo Batman film?

Not long ago, BOF told you that the inevitable cinematic reboot of Batman would first take place in Warner Bros.’ then-planned JUSTICE LEAGUE film in 2015. Well actually, the plan was to introduce the new Batman on film in JL, and then spinoff this new Dark Knight into the first post-“Dark Knight Trilogy” solo film.

Now, WB’s Justice League project is in some trouble. Allegedly, Will Beall’s script has been discarded (good decision because I’ve heard nothing but bad things about it) and the project is “on hold” until after this coming Summer’s MAN OF STEEL.

Frankly, I think it’s dead – at least this incarnation of the project. I bet that Warner Bros. will announce that it’s been “postponed” at some point soon – though they actually have never officially announced a JL film in the first place. Anyway…

If the scenario I just laid out comes to pass, how does this affect Batman on film? Remember, the plan (allegedly) was to introduce the cinematic DCU Batman in the JL film. So, will Batman still be rebooted? And, will this rebooted Batman on film be introduced in a solo film without having it jibe with a future JL film/cinematic DCU? I asked a good FOBOF – one who keeps his/her ear close to the ground on such matters – those very questions.

“Don’t worry about the Batman [film] franchise,” he/she said, “it’s [Warner Bros.’] most valuable [DC Comics-based] asset.” He She continued, “I believe that they are now looking at introducing [the rebooted] Batman in a solo film, though that will likely take place later than they initially planned. They are extreemly worried how [the Batman film franchise] would be affected if JUSTCE LEAGUE bombs...and rightfully so."

"The fact that what should be the core fanbase of a Justice League film isn't on board is making them sweat as well," he/she adds.

If you recall, BOF reported that after being introduced in JUSTICE LEAGUE in 2015, the new Batman would then show up in his own solo film in 2017ish. Now, according to this FOBOF, the time between solo Batman films is going to be longer than five years. “If Superman [this Summer’s MAN OF STEEL] is huge, then they’ve bought themselves some time and will have a franchise to hang their hat on for seven, eight years. The need for Batman won’t be as great, and [the reboot] of that franchise can wait until the Superman trilogy is done.”

So I asked him/her the obvious question: If there is no JL film in 2015 and MAN OF STEEL is a big hit, when might we next see Batman on film?

“Under that scenario, I’d say around 2019 or so.”

So let’s recap, shall we? What this FOBOF is saying is that if JL is canned…err…postponed, MAN OF STEEL is a hit and spawns two sequels (yes, we’re talking “The Man of Steel Trilogy” here), the first post-Nolan Batman film will likely come after this potential run of three Superman films. Thus, BATMAN REBOOTED will hit theaters in 2019, give or take.

If it’s 2019, that would mean that we’d have a seven year gap between THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – which ended Chris Nolan’s Bat-Trilogy – and a new Batman film. Honestly, I’m fine with that if it indeed turns out to be the case. I personally think that Warner Bros. should put Batman on film on the back burner for a bit and let anticipation build for a new film with a new take on the character.

Batman on film aside, it’s my hope that my friends at Warner Bros. will take this time to not only allow the folks behind MAN OF STEEL tell their story over the course of three films as they want, but also develop some films based on these great DC Comics characters.

Of course, Warner Bros. could say to hell with it all and go full steam ahead with JUSTICE LEAGUE, problems with the project be damned. And THAT my friends, is the absolute WORST thing that could happen to not only Batman on film, but DC on film as well.

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