Batman Returns: Warner Bros to Make Standalone Dark Knight Film
HOLLYWOOD, July 9 (UPI) — Batman’s future on the big screen has largely been a mystery since director Christopher Nolan wrapped up his “Dark Knight” trilogy three years ago. Now, it appears Warner Bros will continue the series — possibly as early as 2018.
Deadline reported Thursday that the studio will allow actor Ben Affleck to star in and direct the next installment. Affleck is already playing the role of the Caped Crusader in next year’s “Batman v. Superman.”
“I’m told that Ben Affleck is teaming up with (screenwriter) Geoff Johns to co-write a stand-alone Batman movie that Affleck will direct and star in,”Deadline,” reporter Mike Fleming, Jr., wrote Thursday. “My studio sources tell me that Affleck and Johns are well in synch and have more than found their rhythm.”
The film has yet to be announced by Warner Bros, however, but could be at Comic Con in San Diego this weekend. Previous rumors about the film indicated that the movie’s title might be simply, “The Batman.”
It remains to be seen, however, whether the new film will continue the direction set forth by Nolan’s series — or have any connection whatsoever. Actor Christian Bale played the role in “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012). However, he and Nolan have previously stated that they are through with the character.
Affleck has become one of Hollywood’s A-list directors in recent years — even winning the Best Picture Academy Award for producing 2012’s “Argo.”
He also directed the film but did not receive an Oscar nomination in that category.
Nolan successfully revived the ‘Batman’ franchise following the steady decline of the superhero’s films of the 1990s. Combined, his three films earned nearly $2.5 billion at the worldwide box office.
Fleming wrote that the first script of the new Batman film could be completed this summer and it could hit theaters as soon as 2018, Slashfilm reported.
Affleck will make his debut as Batman in March when “Batman v. Superman” is released.