Over the past few years, Bruce Wayne has been sharing the big screen with stars like Superman, the Justice League, and the Suicide Squad, but the caped crusader’s time as a team player might be drawing to an end. Reports suggest that The Batman, Warner Bros. long-gestating solo Batman flick, will finally begin production in November 2019, with War for the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield‘s Matthew Reeves still scheduled to direct.
“The script is basically in,” The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit said in the trade magazine’s newsletter, “and I’m hearing the studio wants to start shooting in November.” Kit claims that fans will learn which actor will take up Batman’s cape and cowl sometime “between now and then.” The current Dark Knight, Ben Affleck, is not expected to return to the role.
If true, the report is the first concrete information that fans have gotten about The Batman for quite some time. When The Batman was first revealed back in 2015, Affleck was set to both star and direct, while then-DC Entertainment president and chief creative officer (and veteran comic book writer) Geoff Johns was co-writing the script.
A lot has changed since then. In 2017, Affleck passed directing duties on The Batman to Reeves, citing the pressure that comes along with playing such an iconic role as the main cause. Reeves subsequently tossed out Affleck’s screenplay and started again from scratch, while Johns stepped down from his DC Entertainment position to focus on writing and producing.
Reeves still hasn’t revealed anything about The Batman‘s plot, although he shot down rumors that it will be based on Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Batman: Year One. Reeves claims that The Batman will offer a “noir-driven detective version” of the superhero and that the story will contain “elements of mystery.” Joe Manganiello, who appeared as the assassin Deathstroke in Justice League‘s post-credit sequence, is expected to be the film’s villain.
Batman’s last solo outing, The Dark Knight Rises, arrived in theaters in 2012, with Christian Bale making his third and final appearance as the billionaire-turned-vigilante. Since then, Batman has been overshadowed by a few of his Justice League co-stars. While the Affleck-led Justice League was considered a financial disappointment, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman shattered box office records, and the Jason Momoa-headlining Aquaman is currently the highest-grossing film in the DC Extended Universe.