The saga surrounding Ben Affleck’s upcoming The Batman continues. First, the movie seemed all but confirmed, then Affleck made some comments that made it seem like the movie wasn’t totally happening yet and after that, Joe Manganiello seemed to confirm shooting dates for next year. It’s been messy. Now it appears that the script for The Batman is a total mess, and Warner Bros. doesn’t even care.
Recently, The Ringer published a piece called “Movies Aren’t Dead, but They’ll Never Be the Same” about the current state of the movie industry. In it, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis revealed that, according to some executives he’s talked to, The Batman script currently has some serious issues, but that doesn’t really seem to concern the brass at Warner Bros. Here is what he had to say.
“[They] were just telling me that there are serious problems with the script. And that the executives I was having dinner with were complaining about people who work on the Batman movie. And they just said they went to the studio and they said, ‘Look, the script is … Here’s 30 things that are wrong with it that we can fix.’ And [the executives] said, ‘We don’t care. We don’t really care. The amount of money we’re going to make globally, I mean 70 percent of our audience is not going to be seeing this in English. And it doesn’t really matter, these things that you’re bringing up about the flaws of the script.’ So I do think global concerns play a big part in how movies, and what movies, are being made, obviously.”
This information may be coming from an unexpected source, but it is still potentially very troubling. Even those DC Expanded Universe fans who loved both Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, of which there are many, can probably acknowledge that there were serious story problems in both movies. It seems like that might almost be by design if Bret Easton Ellis is even halfway correct with his comments. The fact of the matter is both of those movies brought in a ton of money at the box office despite abysmal critical response. Perhaps they are hoping the DCEU will be more akin to the Transformers franchise where people just show up no matter what ends up on the screen.
The difference here is that Ben Affleck has a lot of control over what is happening with The Batman. Not only has he personally been working on the script and insisting that the movie won’t get made until it is right, but he is directing the movie as well. The man has an Oscar for screenwriting and his last movie Argo won Best Picture. His track record kind of speaks for itself at this point. He was one of the best parts of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that was still a Zack Snyder movie. If Ben Affleck doesn’t feel like The Batman is ready, it simply won’t happen. They can’t just hire another director to push around, because Ben Affleck is also playing the Caped Crusader, so it is his movie to save or ruin at this point. Still, it is concerning to think that Warner Bros. really may feel that way about a movie so many fans are looking forward to.
There is no doubt that The Batman (if that does ultimately wind up being the title of the movie) is going to happen at some point, but it seems like the kind of thing that Warner Bros. will want to prioritize. With Joe Manganiello already cast as Deathstroke, it is clear that preparations are being made and if he is to be believed, the movie could be shooting as early as March of 2017, which means we could possibly see the new Batman movie in 2018. It also seems like the movie is going to happen even if Warner Bros. thinks the script is a disaster, but hopefully Ben Affleck can prevent another dumpster fire for the DCEU.