Apparently The Batman script is a big old mess and Warner Bros. doesn’t really care as long as the movie gets made. This isn’t some juicy rumor that came from an unreliable source. It actually came directly from acclaimed American Psycho author and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis. And he’s not known for making stuff up just to grab some headlines. In fact, he’s actually disappointed with himself for making these comments. And now he’s backtracking with an official statement on his Facebook.
DC Films and Warner Bros. have had a rough go of it every since they attempted to launch their DC Extended Universe with Green Lantern way back in 2011. That movie proved to be such a bomb, they discarded it and started over fresh with 2013’s Man of Steel. The movie, directed by Zack Snyder, was a modest success, though it had a lot of fans crying foul. It did allow DC Films and Warner Bros. to move forward with their shared universe. The second two films have been lambasted by fans and critics alike. Batman V Superman arrived this past spring and was a box office and critical disappointment. Suicide Squad then opened in August to surprisingly healthy box office numbers, but a lot of fans and critics thought it was even worse than Dawn of Justice.
Though, those same fans agree that Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne was one of the best things to come out of BVS. And because of that, Warner Bros. and DC Films decided to announced The Batman, a standalone adventure for the caped crusader that will see him going up against the villain Deathstroke, played by Joe Manganiello. The movie is being directed by Ben Affleck who will star and produce. He’s also writing the screenplay with DC’s answer to Kevin Feige, Geoff Johns.
News surrounding The Batman has been a little dicey to begin with. While promoting his thriller The Accountant last month, Ben Affleck claimed that his Batman movie wasn’t happening yet. And he said he wouldn’t move forward until the script was 100%. Now comes along Bret Easton Ellis, who isn’t a blogger or troll, with some interesting behind-the-scenes info that matches up with everything we’ve heard about the development process on other recent DC movies. And it came in the wake of The Flash movie losing its second director in less than six months.
Bret Easton Ellis claimed The Batman screenplay was an outright mess. It has numerous problems. And definitely needs to be worked on. But Warner Bros. executives don’t care. They just want the movie made. Mostly because the International Market makes up the box office on these movies. And 70% of the paying audience won’t ‘be seeing this in English’. So hey, why should it make sense?
Like any juicy behind-the-scenes story about a production in trouble, Ellis’ comments quickly went viral. Now, he has returned to clarify his remarks. And he explains that he hasn’t actually read the screenplay himself. So who is he to say it’s a mess?
“During a long interview with The Ringer’s Sean Fennessey we talked about reasons why studio movies are so bad now and touched on the global needs of the marketplace. I told him something I had heard about the new Batman movie as an example of what might be the problem: I was talking with two executives who have NOTHING to do with the Batman movie and who KNEW people who were involved with the production. The two executives I was having dinner with were relating the problems they had heard about the script from people working on the Batman project–that’s all. I know no one involved with the Batman movie and I didn’t realize that my comments would make it into The Ringer piece or else I wouldn’t have cited that particular movie–I have no idea what the Batman script is like and I regret that it came off as if I was disparaging the project. Another reason to be careful giving interviews.”
So basically, The Batman script could still be a big old mess. And Warner Bros. probably doesn’t care. If you’ve seen Suicide Squad, you know that the studio isn’t too interested in delivering a coherent movie. Perhaps that entry’s editing problems will be cleared up with the Extended Edition that is coming soon. It is being reported this weekend that Wonder Woman is entering reshoots soon. That is another movie that has been accused of being a mess in the press. The full-length trailer dropped this past weekend, and it doesn’t look too bad. But remember those Suicide Squad trailers everyone fell in love with? They weren’t exactly indicative of the finished product, now were they?