Director Matt Reeves Clarifies That 'The Batman' Will Be Part Of The DCEU [UPDATED]

UpdateThe Batmadirector Matt Reeves has clarified his remarks about The Batman not being "part of" the DC Extended Universe. He confirmed on Twitter that The Batman will still take place in the DC universe. See more below.


The state of The Batman movie has been in a state of flux since its inception. At first, Ben Affleck was set to direct, then not. Matt Reeves came on board and decided to throw out the original script in favor of his own. And most recently it's been speculated that Ben Affleck won't even end up starring in the film.

Now, it seems that the one thing that we thought was taken for granted that The Batman would fall under Warner Bros.' growing DC Cinematic Universe, may not be true. Reeves confirmed that when he joined the project, Warner Bros. allowed him to approach The Batman as a standalone movie that he says won't be connected to the larger DCEU.

Matt Reeves directing Let Me In

Here Is What The Batman Director Matt Reeves Said

Reeves had been working on revamping The Batman after original director Ben Affleck stepped out of the director's chair. Affleck and DC Films co-head Geoff Johns had worked on a script for The Batman, but Reeves has reportedly thrown that out to start from scratch, presumably to make his vision of a noir-driven, detective Batman film comes to life.

Now Reeves recently told radio station KRCW (via Batman-On-Film) that he may be working on more than just a rewrite of a Batman film, but an altogether separate Batman movie:

"Well I have a vision for a way to do something with that character [Batman] that feels like it resonates with me personally, and a perspective that can grow out into other things. When they [Warner Bros.] approached me, what they said was 'look, it's a standalone, it's not part of the extended universe.'"

Now there are a lot of ways to read this statement: that Matt Reeves' Batman film won't take place in the DCEU at all, but maintain its own continuity. He's already voiced enthusiasm for making his own Batman trilogy, perhaps in the vein of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy, which existed in a universe of its own before the DCEU was launched with Man of Steel in 2013. Or: it could just mean that Matt Reeves is making a Batman movie that won't be burdened by world-building or Justice League cameos.

Ben Affleck in Batman v Superman

UPDATED: What Reeves Meant By 'Standalone'

Reeves posted on Twitter on Thursday, "OF COURSE Batman will be part of the D.C. Universe. Batman will be BATMAN," clarifying that he meant The Batman will be a "standalone" in that it won't interact frequently with other films or characters from the DCEU.

It goes with what I originally posited as the original comment just being a case of misleading wording. Rather than being indpendent of the DCEU, it would be part of the universe but not have to deal with world-building or extensive Justice League member cameos.

A "standalone" movie that's "not part of the extended universe" could mean that Warner Bros. is letting Reeves off the leash and letting him do as he pleases — and why wouldn't they? He has spearheaded the critically acclaimed Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy that has gone on to reasonable box office success. It's also in line with Warner Bros.' old mantra of letting a director with a distinctive vision take the reins on a superhero movie — though they've walked back on that since Suicide Squad bombed with critics and executives.

Not to pull from the other side of the aisle, but "standalone" films exist in the Marvel universe too. Films like Guardians of the Galaxy remained fairly unconnected to the rest of the MCU, allowing them to flourish creatively and not be weighed down by clunky world-building or foreshadowing. This may be the case for The Batman — which would be a relief, as some of the best Batman stories are the ones isolated to Batman and Gotham.

Justice League - Flashpoint Movie

What Does This Mean for the DCEU?

On the other hand, this could potentially be the biggest news for the DCEU yet. If The Batman doesn't fall under the DC universe umbrella at all, it could be a splintering off of the multiverse after Flashpoint.

When we were told that the script was going to be completely rewritten (months before Reeves confirmed our intel in interviews), we were also told that Reeves came on to the project because Warner Bros. assured him that they could do his own thing without having to be connected or determined by the other DCEU films. But we didn't imagine that meant that WB was entrusting him in his own Batman universe independent of the DCEU. But if they were to set it independently of the Justice League storyline, could that confirm the steady stream of rumors that Ben Affleck won't star in The Batman after all?

I can't say for sure, though it's entirely possible that this could be Warner Bros.' way of harnessing the box office power of their most successful superhero without it being influenced by the embattled DCEU as it struggles to gets on its feet following the success of Wonder Woman and the sidelining of Zack Snyder. And it could be a simple way of letting Affleck leave the role he seems eager to be done with after Justice League.


Will This Be Related to the Joker Origin Movie?

As we recover from the shock of learning that Joker origin movie was going to be directed by Todd Phillips of The Hangover fame and produced by Martin Scorsese and the guy who wrote 8 Mile (Scott Silver), I have to wonder whether its claims of a Batman Extended Universe being launched holds water. The initial reports claim that the Joker movie will exist outside of the current DCEU chronology (although the source, Deadline, isn't the best to parse superhero beat, so who knows), which certainly opens the door for Matt Reeves' The Batman to do the same.

Perhaps The Batman and the Joker movie could be related, and part of the same universe separated from the rest of the DCEU. Without Jared Leto's embarrassing performance as the Joker looming over Reeves' Batman movie, this is actually a somewhat pleasant option. It could ruin any general audience member's understanding of the sprawling DCEU and its offshoots, but hey, as long as we don't have to deal with a Joker that has the word "Damaged" tattooed onto his forehead.

The Batman is projected for a 2019 release.