Prediction: The Solo Batfleck Batflick In 2019, Not 2018 Posted by: Bill "Jett" Ramey (Follow @BATMANONFILM)
Date: September 26, 2016
For a website titled “Batman on Film,” the next solo live-action Batman movie is of the utmost importance. Thus, I would assume that it’s very important to all BOF readers as well, no? So, let’s do the math and see if we can figure out just when Ben Affleck’s solo Batfleck Batflick (BASBB from here on out) will hit theaters.
Firstly, let’s take a look at what Time-Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said about the status of the BASBB. According to Mr. Bewkes, it’s “a year and a half out.” Now, does he mean that the release is about 18 months out or, perhaps, production will commence at that time? If it’s the former, we’re looking at a release date during the Spring of 2018. If it’s the latter, the BASBB would hit theaters at some point in 2019.
Taking what Mr. Bewkes 18 month timeframe into account, along with the two aforementioned scenarios, the only DCEU release date that’s been announced by Warner Bros. that would jibe with what Mr. Bewkes said would be November 1, 2019. That date – which is currently on the books as when an “Untitled DC Film” will drop – seems to make the most sense given that work on a Batman film is an eighteen month to two year project.
There is another “Untitled DC Film” scheduled for October 5, 2018. While I can’t emphatically rule it out, I simply don’t see that date working for a couple of reasons. One, I don’t think Mr. Affleck’s schedule will allow it (and I’ll discuss that shortly), and two, I’m not sure if Warner Bros. sees early October as a good time to release a Batman film. Historically, Batman films have been released in the Summer and I see that tradition continuing under Ben Affleck. (I researched box office stats for October vs. July and the data makes a Summer release more appealing, IMO).
Next, let’s discuss Ben Affleck’s schedule. Currently, he’s wrapping work on JUSTICE LEAGUE as both star and an executive producer. With the latter job, it likely means that Mr. Affleck will be involved with post-production on JL in some capacity. Why? Well apparently, Ben is not your typical “executive producer” and has been and will continue to be involved with JL after director Zack Snyder yells, “And that’s a wrap!” Thus, a bit of his time in 2017 is going to include work on JL.
The monkey wrench in the idea that the BASBB will come out in 2018 is what could be Mr. Affleck’s next directorial (and acting gig) endeavor, WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. According to IMDB.COM, the film – which is set up at Fox and not Warner Bros. (for what it’s worth) – is a 2018 release. If that’s true, there’s no way in hell that the BASBB will – nor could – be ready for a 2018 release. Once Mr. Affleck begins production on the BASBB, he’ll be working on that sucker for a year. So, you’ve got to think that Mr. Affleck will want to get away from Batman, the DCEU, and big “event films” for a bit, and do something smaller (i.e. WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION) before heading back to Gotham City and ALL that will come with being the star, producer, writer and director of the BASBB.
"I think [Warner Bros. has] a date for it, although I don't know that I would necessarily be able to make that date. I don't have a script that's ready yet. My timetable is just that I'm not going to make a movie until there's a script that I think is good, because I've been on the end of things when you make movies with a script that's not good yet and it doesn't pan out."
“I have a script. We're still working on it and I'm not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, which I would have the highest of standards I would say. It's something that would have to pass a very high bar for me. It's not like, ‘Yeah, this might be fun. Let's go bang this out.’”
So there you have it from the man himself. Mr. Affleck isn’t going to rush this project -- nor should he. He’ll make it once he feels like he has a script that that’s worthy of bringing to film. If that’s right now, then so be it. But I’m betting he wants to tweak it a bit more with co-writer Geoff Johns before going in front of the camera.
And yes, we know that Joe Manganiello will play Deathstroke in the BASBB. Hell, Ben Affleck himself basically announced the casting when he Tweeted the video of Mr. Manganiello in costume. But that doesn’t mean that the BASBB is about to start filming. I’m betting that Deathstroke cameos in JUSTICE LEAGUE to basically help set up the BASBB.
So there you have it folks. After reading the tea leaves, looking into the crystal ball, etc., I’m going to conclude that the Ben Affleck Solo Batfleck Batflick will reach theaters sometime in 2019. From where I stand today based on all the information available, I just don’t see how it can be readied for 2018. Unless it is.
Oh yeah, I forgot one thing. You know what else makes 2019 a better release year than 2018? It's Batman's 80th anniversary.
When do you think the BASBB will be released? Post your prediction in the comments section below!