Rumor: Batman May Not Hit Screens Again Until Around 2019

In the film world, Marvel and DC are starting to look like a hoary old western stereotype: brothers who share the same basic qualities, but take very different life paths. Marvel is the one that grows up to be the priest, or the hero: successful, moving forward, respectable. DC is the outlaw, the one who tries quick schemes to jump-start success, with no long-term plan.

Warner Bros. is really fostering the perception that the studio has no idea how to handle its DC properties. Handing Superman to Zack Snyder was a risky move that looks like it might have paid off, if the early footage is a useful gauge. (It rarely is, as anyone who loved, say, the Prometheus trailer can attest. But we remain optimistic.) Nothing else is looking as promising. Nolan's Batman is done. Green Lantern was a non-starter. Wonder Woman and The Flash are still incubating.

Efforts to make a Marvel-style team film with Justice League have been shaky. Despite the fact that WB hasn't established a cadre of solo heroes along the lines of Marvel's lineup, the studio was trying to jump-start a team movie. Key word there may be "was," as the pervasive rumor is that the Will Beall script for Justice League has been scrapped, setting the project back a few steps.

Furthermore, WB may not make a real decision on Justice League until after the release of Man of Steel. If Snyder's Superman reboot does well, there'll be one set of branching paths: do three Superman movies and build up to Justice League, or put the team movie into action quick? If it tanks, there will be other paths.

And what of Batman? Plans were to introduce the new Batman in Justice League, then give him another solo film series. Fearful of destroying what Nolan built, the studio may now wait to reboot Batman without letting Justice League have its way with him, and until after Superman gets his time in the sun. That means quite a few years may pass before the character hits screens again.

Batman-on-Film has a source that says:

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. 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... Under that scenario, I'd say around 2019 or so [for a new Batman]."

In other words, we get Man of Steel, and then... what? Two Supes sequels, then a new take on Batman? Or a Justice League movie that doesn't involve Batman?

If Batman waits until after a couple more Superman films (assuming Man of Steel does well) then we're looking at roughly 2019 before Bats is back on screen. Which might not be so bad; it's a good interval, especially if the intent is to reboot. Let the guy lie low for a bit, and let audiences build up an appetite for e new version.

Freeing Batman from Justice League would be a good idea, too. With him, the film is too dependent on introducing the new version. Without him, there is a lot more room to play with the other characters, and less concern about creating a Batman that WB will have to deal with later.