During the 3rd quarter of this year, Warner Bros. and an ‘inside source’ leaked that the studio was releasing a bunch of new movies starring their favorite DC characters. The updates started to trickle in at breakneck speed. Before the news broke, it appeared the studio was working on Suicide Squad 2 (without director/writer David Ayer), an all female villain team up movie with Harley Quinn front and center called Gotham City Sirens (with writer/director David Ayer), along with a long-rumored Deadshot standalone movie and of course a new single Batman flick. This Batman movie once was going to be directed, written by, and starring current Batman Ben Affleck (a.k.a Batfleck). Shortly after the dismal opening of Affleck’s Live by Night, he stepped down as director and Matt Reeves (Dawn & War for the Planet of the Apes) was announced as the new director. But Affleck was still going to write and star in it. Then his script was thrown out but Affleck would definitely still be Batman. More conflicting reports started to trickle in.
Within the span of a few days, news stared to spread that The Batman would not be connected to their DCEU universe (since debunked by director Matt Reeves) and Affleck would not be donning the cape and cowl. Speaking of unconnected DCEU movies, the studio also announced a new Joker origin movie that will not see Jared Leto reprise his role as the Clown Prince of Crime. This Joker origin movie nobody asked for may be directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover trilogy) and is to be produced by none other than Martin Scorsese. That last bit makes my excitement meter rise 1 level (meaning it is at level 1 up from 0). Shortly after that, WB announces that Jared Leto will in fact play the Joker in a standalone Harley Quinn & Joker movie to be directed by Gleen Ficarra & John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love). But wait, there’s more! Jared Leto would also be appearing in Suicide Squad 2 as well as Gotham City Sirens. Rumors started to float around that writer/director David Ayer will no longer be directing the later (still unconfirmed). Oh, The Rock’s Black Adam might make his character debut in Suicide Squad 2. All of the Jared Leto Joker movies are apparently still in the DCEU. More recently, more rumors indicated that Affleck was done playing Batman. He shot those down at a recent convention. Then he said he wants an ‘eloquent exit’ for his tenure as Batman, which seemed to indicate that he wants his appearance in Matt Reeve’s The Batman to be his last. WHAT IS HAPPENING?!
Once The Avengers made a billion and a half dollars, Warner Bros. went on the fast track to compete with their Marvel rivals. But instead of a well thought out and structured universe spearheaded by the mastermind Kevin Feige, they rushed a haphazardly constructed team up movie with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice which was originally going to be Man of Steel 2. Instead of doing standalone movies after that, they made a villain team up movie (Suicide Squad). Their one-standalone movie was Wonder Woman and it has become one of the highest grossing and critically acclaimed superhero movies of all time. Justice League comes out this weekend followed by Aquaman in December of 2018 directed by the immensely talented James Wan. A lot is riding on Justice League’s box office AND critical response to see what the future holds for our DC heroes/villains. But it isn’t looking good. Justice League is currently sitting at 39% with over 150 reviews in. Queue the ‘Sad Affleck’ meme.