He’s at home, washing his tights. Or more likely, licking his wounds. Although there’s some good news with Matt Reeves taking the helm, after Affleck ditched his writing/directing duties and key cast members became unsure of their own involvement, the future no longer looks bright for The Batman. However, there’s no need to send up the Bat-signal just yet; there’s still plenty that can be done to rescue the Dark Knight Detective.
The Bat’s brand of justice.
Batfleck’s cruel and more malicious side brought a fresh perspective to the Dark Knight not seen since the comic book pages. Batman vs Superman’s Bat-branding and the abandonment of the no killing, no guns rule depicted a man whose old methods and morals were no longer effective and called for more extreme measures. As more vicious villains emerge and further cities are levelled through Justice League and beyond, Batman’s methods should continue to de-evolve to create a character who is constantly on the cusp of right and wrong which would provide The Batman with a compelling protagonist.
A Death in the Family.
In the rush to level themselves with the layers built into the MCU, both BvS and Suicide Squad saw Affleck’s remorseful, world-weary and vengeful portrayal providing the perfect impetus to further explore the death of Jason Todd. With the Nightwing movie in the works, the original Boy Wonder’s path would also need to be addressed but it would be a pleasure to see the backstory of Batman and Robin as the crime fighting duo, rather than revisiting Batman’s Crime Alley origins yet again.
Speaking of Robin…
Perhaps the only thing that can potentially put the DCEU above the Marvel at this point is their presentation of villains. Much has been written about Marvel’s cookie cutter baddies and “Superhero Plus” villains but Batman has a wealth of worthy adversaries waiting in the wings and with Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke looking less likely, the floor is now opened up. As so successfully explored in the Arkham Knight video game, an unforgiving, previously presumed dead Jason Todd in the guise of Red Hood would provide continuity within the DC universe and open the door to the return of The Joker. Whilst allowing emphasis on the guilt that drives the man behind the mask, the recent success of Logan will surely persuade DC to allow The Batman to be similarly character-led.
Ever since the iconic “dinner-dinner” theme, the sound of Batman has always been essential to the atmosphere of Gotham City. Just as Michael Keaton had Danny Elfman and Christian Bale had Hans Zimmer, the new Batman needs a new score. With Zimmer recently stating that he felt betrayed moving from scoring Bale to Ben, Affleck now needs his own music to move to.
With The Batman scheduled for release in 2019 and a sure-fire heavy-hitter for DC, here’s hoping it’s more The Dark Knight than Daredevil.