Yesterday, William Morris Endeavor co-CEO Patrick Whitesell mentioned in an interview that Ben Affleck won’t be hanging up his Caped Crusader cowl for a good long time: “He’s contracted to do at least Justice League One and Two, so at least three times wearing the cape. There’s a script that he’s written that is a really cool [Batman] idea, so that’s out there as an option.”
There have been rumors of a standalone Batman movie since last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, when it was reported that Affleck was developing a project with DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. But hearing that Affleck has a hand in the writing makes us wonder—what kind of story are they looking to tell?
With Suicide Squad (in which Affleck’s Batman has a cameo) coming to theaters August 5 and Justice League Part One a year or so away at November 17, 2017, it seems likely that a Batman standalone would come out in 2018 at the earliest, before Justice League Part Two on June 14, 2019. We like the idea of these ensemble films showing Batman working with a group to set up the Justice League and then, sandwiched between these big movies, a smaller, more personal movie about how Batman works on his own.
Now, we don’t know much about this Batman’s past, seeing as several expository scenes were deleted from the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But after giving it some thought, we figure that a solid Batman standalone would incorporate one or more of the following characters near and dear to Bruce Wayne’s heart:
Oracle: Jena Malone’s mystery character (recently revealed to be Barbara Gordon) was cut from the theatrical version but will appear in the R-rated “Ultimate Cut,” leading us to believe Zak Snyder is pulling a The Killing Joke. But what if Malone returned in a standalone Batman movie, as Oracle? Just imagine her helping out Alfred back at HQ while Batman is out! We already know Malone can play fiercely strong; and maybe her Oracle could bring some levity to all of the doom and gloom.
Red Hood: Geoff Johns was the one to create a sequel to DC’s Crisis on Infinite Crisis event–a lynchpin of the DC universe that saw the resurrection of Jason Todd, one of Bruce’s former Robins. The Robin suit with “HAHAHA JOKE’S ON YOU BATMAN” scrawled all over it in the Batcave would certainly seem to point to the Joker’s brutal murder of Todd in the comics… so what if the new Bat-film was a live-action take on Todd’s return as Red Hood? As a character, he certainly fits in with the grittier DC film universe, and it would be a deeply personal story for Batman that could work on a smaller scale.
Nightwing: What if by Batman v Superman the Dark Knight has had a couple of Robins? The Robin suit in the cave could be Dick Grayson’s in this alternate continuity, perhaps, but it would also be fascinating if the first Robin had already flown the coop years ago. As Affleck’s Batman is older, he could have had plenty of time to regret his fallout with Dick… but when Nightwing returns, it’s a chance for redemption with a superhero who reminded him of the value of family long before he chose to create a league of superfriends.
What do you think a standalone Batman movie could be about? Share your theories in the comments.