Ben Affleck's 'The Batman' Featured Multiple Villains, But May Get 'A Fresh Start' Now

Since Ben Affleck announced his departure as director from The Batman at Warner Bros. Pictures, fans have been worried about the future of The Dark Knight on the big screen. Rumors are swirling of more trouble behind the scenes that meets the eye, and the studio isn't doing much to quell those fears. Now new details have surfaced which indicate the studio is trying to figure out what to do in the wake of Ben Affleck's step back from the creative process.

Many of the details regarding The Batman have been under tight wraps, but now new information reveals that Deathstroke (played by Joe Manganiello) wasn't the only villain who would appear in the movie. The question is just how much of the original story will be kept once a new director comes on board. Find out more about The Batman script development after the jump.

Forbes has an extensive report looking at the position that Warner Bros. Pictures is in, and within it includes some new details regarding The Batman script that Ben Affleck was working on with Geoff Johns, including recent touch-ups by Argo screenwriter Chris Terrio. There aren't a lot of specifics, but here's an interesting tidbit:

The story for The Batman originally included the assassin Deathstroke as a main villain, with Joe Manganiello cast in the role, as well as a few other likely villainous appearances by characters including the Joker, according to sources familiar with the project.

There was a rumor last summer that The Batman would take place mostly in Arkham Asylum, which made sense after another rumor promised a bunch of familiar Batman villains appearing in the movie. This doesn't necessarily confirm that (though some have assumed it) since other villains appearing could have been cameos setting up future movies, or creating a storied past for the Dark Knight and his enemies, but it does make us wonder if we were going to get the film version of the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game in some ways.

The big question is what happens with the story now that Ben Affleck is no longer directing. In his statement announcing his departure as director, Affleck said he was going to help find a partner to collaborate with him on the project, but that doesn't mean the director won't make some changes of his own to the script. On that front, here's what Forbes had to say on the matter, including some thoughts on how this is starting to worry fans:

How extensive the process will be — I'm hearing anything from "major rewrites" to "a completely new script," including starting from scratch on the story if that's what it takes — is unclear, not just to us but probably to those involved as well, since the new filmmaker might look at the story and script and decide there's plenty to salvage that appeals to them. Once the director is in place, more will become clear, but for now Warner Bros. is suffering far more negative perceptions than they need to, simply because of the attempt to slow and control the spread of information. The fear this causes and the speculation arising from that fear is far worse than whatever reaction resulted from putting the current known information out there for public consumption. Likewise, the more the press and public get the impression they can't trust public statements and the more the flow of information is slowed and controlled, the more it feeds the perception that larger problems loom for the DCU.

Warner Bros. Pictures doesn't owe fans any explanation for what's going on behind the scenes at this point, because that's just how development of a major motion picture like this works. But at the same time, as the report states, their silence is creating plenty of concern.

As for who the director will be taking on The Dark Knight next, director Matt Reeves (who we learned was in the running over a week ago) is said to be the frontrunner. Whether he wants to start from scratch with the movie or keep much of what Affleck has been working on remains to be seen. It's likely going to be awhile before we find out what's going on since the movie isn't expected to arrive until the summer of 2019. That still seems to be the plan even in the face of all these development difficulties, but only time will tell what happens with The Batman next.