DC’s Cinematic Universe has gone down a long and winding road over the past few years, /from the success of Wonder Woman to the long, tortured path that eventually got Justice League to theaters. And perhaps, no DC character has been more affected than the Dark Knight himself, Batman. We live in a world where Aquaman, the guy who talks to fish, made more money in the box office than any Batman film ever.
While there is a new solo Batman film on the horizon from the director, Matt Reeves, that has tapped Robert Pattinson as the new big-screen caped crusader, there was a time where the last cinematic Bruce Wayne, Ben Affleck, was going to write, direct, and star in the project.
At the time, there were plenty of rumors swirling about what Affleck’s vision of the Bat could be, but they were just that, rumors. Nothing concrete was released to the public, so when Ben Affleck decided to step away from the cape and cowl and turn the project over to Matt Reeves completely, we never thought we’d know what could’ve been.
Until now! New details have surfaced about the failed batflick, along with its story and setting.
But how did this happen and what does this mean for the upcoming film?
While promoting Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, cinematographer, Robert Richardson, hit up the Happy Sad Confused podcast where he also opened up about Affleck’s abandoned Batman movie. Richardson, who had worked with Ben before on Live By Night was slated to team up with Affleck again for his take on a Dark Knight solo outing.
Richardson goes on to confirm that the premise of the film would’ve had Batman battling it out with his foes in a classic Batman setting, Arkham Asylum. Something that had long been rumored by industry insiders and hoped for by the fans. He went on to explain more of what Affleck would’ve delved into, the psychological aspects of Batman, saying,
“Well, he was going more into the insanity aspects. So I think you would’ve seen something a littler darker than what we’ve seen in the past and more into the individual, who was inside Batman, what element may be sane and what element may actually not be sane.”
“So he was entering into a little more of the Arkham, as you know, he’s going into where you keep everyone who was bad, it was very fascinating to go to the darker side of Batman.”
While it definitely feels like a more contained Batman story, it also fits in with the rumors that the film was going to utilize Batman’s entire extensive rogues gallery.
Seriously, what better way to bring everyone together than by bringing the Dark Knight to where they’re all locked up?
Trapping Batman in with his enemies is a large part of what made the Arkham Asylum graphic novel, as well as the Arkham video games, such a big hit with Batman fans. They provided a neat, logical, and fun way for Batman to be able to interact with all of his biggest bads at the same time. And while Arkham Asylum has shown up or been mentioned in several Batman films, it seems like this film was going to spend a lot more time there than fans have ever seen before. As to where the status of the project was, he said this,
“There was a script, but not a loved script. There was a lot of work he was doing to it to change it.”
We do know that when Ben Affleck started stepping away from directing and writing duties on The Batman in order to concentrate on his performance as Bruce Wayne’s alter ego, Matt Reeves was brought in to take over writing and directing duties.
However, this was before Affleck stepped away from the role, altogether, which reportedly has left Reeves to go down a different path for the character. We know that Reeves’s current version will have a younger Batman at the beginning of his career and will focus on a different aspect of The Batman than we’ve seen onscreen before. That he’s the world’s greatest detective.
However, could aspects of this Arkham Asylum version of the film still make it onto the big screen? It’s possible, but if Pattinson’s Batman is towards the beginning of his career as a vigilante, would he have had time to already round up all his enemies and lock them in Arkham? That being said, we would not be shocked if we see Batman hit up his favorite prison for the criminally insane when The Batman drops in theaters in 2021.
But what do you folks think? Which Arkham inmate were you most excited to see Batman punch? Are you excited for Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson’s The Batman, and who’s your favorite big-screen Batman: Affleck, Bale, Clooney, Kilmer, Keaton, West?