Everything we've heard about The Batman lately has been pretty terrible. Ben Affleck has dropped out as director, Chris Terrio is rewriting the script, and there was even a rumor Affleck may leave the franchise. While speculation over Affleck's reasons continue to swirl, there is just the tiniest bit of good news that has arrived. But first it starts with a rumor that paints a dire picture.
Forbes put out a lengthy piece on Warner Bros.' issues with The Batman, and they said the script co-written by Affleck and Geoff Johns could get a major overhaul or be thrown out completely, starting the entire project over from scratch. Oof. The report has details on the original screenplay, noting that it featured appearances by villains Deathstroke (played by Joe Manganiello), Jared Leto's version of the Joker from Suicide Squad, and possibly other villains. Sounds crowded. They even suggest again the possibility of Affleck departing altogether, due to exhaustion over the crazy schedule he's had. Remember, the last year has seen him busy with 'Batman v Superman', Suicide Squad, The Accountant, Justice League, plus Live by Night which he wrote, directed, and starred in. Oof. No wonder he's tired. All of this set against a very secretive atmosphere at Warner Bros. which makes the situation look worse than it probably is.
Things may not actually be so bad, though. Variety's Justin Kroll was asked specifically whether the script is getting a total redo, and he reports Warner Bros. is quite happy with it. The suggestion being that Terrio will probably not be making massive changes...
@BatmanNewsCom No, several sources already saying new script came in this month and everyone including Emmerich and Ben very happy with it— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) February 9, 2017
I don't always buy into the doom 'n gloom scenarios that get reported, and I trust them even less since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story turned out so well after similar stories emerged. But this is still just the beginning of a very long process. The Batman currently has no director, and until it does it can only progress so far. Once a director is found there will likely be further rewrites because that's just how things work. So we could be seeing a 2019 release or later, rather than the 2018 date originally projected.