Most people would do anything to play Batman, but Josh Brolin says that he’s glad that he didn’t get that part in the DC Extended Universe.
“We indirectly talked about it, but we never got to the point because I wasn’t the guy for him,” Brolin said, referring to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder. “I’m really glad it didn’t happen. I haven’t thought twice about it.”
He mentioned that he avoided a lot of comic book movies in general after the failure of Jonah Hex and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. “Is it deliberate? Almost. It’s not that I turned them down. It’s just not what I wanted to do at that moment. The bigger things, I just stayed away from.”
That might seem odd, given that at the moment, the public is eagerly awaiting the release of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, wherein Brolin will be starring as the Mad Titan Thanos and Cable, respectively. So clearly, while he has some comic book duds in his record, overall the genre has been very good to him.
He did not elaborate why he’s particularly glad about turning down a role as the Caped Crusader, but many will assume it has to do with the poor reception of the DCEU thus far; aside from Wonder Woman, all have been divisive, and they have not always been as profitable as their studios wanted, either. The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Deadpool, however, have both been surprise successes.
The Batman role was instead given to Ben Affleck, and while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was generally not well received, his acting was. He is rumored to want to leave the franchise himself, though, and word is that Warner Bros. is on the lookout for someone to replace him.
Matt Reeves, director of the upcoming DC Extended Universe film The Batman took time on Twitter to discuss some of his favorite stories featuring the Caped Crusader.
“There are many… I love Year One, The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, Ego… Many others… Neal Adams is awesome… Love the original Kane and Finger… I could go on…!” he said, answering a fan.
Batman: Year One, Batman: The Long Halloween and Batman: Dark Victory are all in the same continuity, and the first two in particular are frequent additions to fans’ lists of favorites. The former tells of Batman’s origins and how he developed the trademarks of the persona that fans recognize today; the second is about Batman’s hunt for a killer called Holiday, with Dark Victory a sequel dealing with its aftermath and Dick Grayson’s origin as Robin.
Batman: Ego is a bit of a surprise, as it is a lesser-known story and a bit of a trippy one, largely made up of “Bruce Wayne” arguing with “Batman” inside the character’s fracturing mind. There is no major mystery or crime-fighting like in the other books, but instead a thorough exploration of what his dual identity means and what he can and cannot do.
Neal Adams was a major writer of the “Bronze Age,” who created Ra’s al-Ghul and recreated the Joker and Two-Face as legitimately interesting and scary villains. Kane and Finger, of course, are the original creators of Batman from back in the Golden Age.
Reeves is set to direct an upcoming Batman film for the DCEU, and says that he is working on ideas and scripts, though production is unlikely to start for a while. Not much of his plans is known, except that he says that he wants his story to be a noir-ish take on the character that emphasizes his detective skills. The above stories are generally consistent with that.
We keep getting news about Shazam, the upcoming DC Extended Universe film set to premiere in April 2019. If you haven’t been paying attention so far, here’s a quick rundown of what we know about the project.
The movie is centered around Billy Batson, a teenage boy played by Asher Angel (who plays Jonah Beck in Disney Channel’s Andi Mack). An orphaned foster child, he meets a wizard (Ron Cephas of This is Us) and is given the power to turn into an adult superhero by saying the magic word “Shazam!” As a hero, he is played by Zachary Levi, who played the title character of Chuck, Flynn Rider in Tangled and Fandral in the Thor movies.
Opposed to our hero is Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong), who has managed to get magical powers and comes back from the dead with them. He will be aided by his daughter Beautia and his son Magnificus, neither of whom have been cast yet. According to their official descriptions, Beautia at least seems like she will turn good by the end of the film; Magnificus does in the comics, but may not here. In contrast to early reports, Dwayne Johnson will not appear as the villainous Black Adam.
Also despite some rumors to the contrary, the movie will be part of the DCEU. It is being directed by David F. Sandberg, who up until now has only done horror movies such as Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation. He says that the movie will have a lot of situational comedy, but not be “jokey.”
Also appearing will be Jack Dylan Grazer as Billy’s best friend Freddy Freeman and Grace Fulton as Mary, who in the comics is Billy’s twin sister; here she and Freddy may be foster siblings, as will be characters played by Ian Chen, Jovan Armand and Faithe Herman.
Chris McKay, who is set to direct an upcoming Nightwing movie for the DC Extended Universe, says that he has no plans to leave the franchise unless the studio makes him go.
This comes shortly after it was announced that Joss Whedon, who previously co-directed Justice League with Zack Snyder, would not be directing a Batgirl film as was decided last year. It was one of many changes that have been done to directors so far, as Warner Bros. continually tries to find a winning formula for its floundering franchise.
When one fan on Twitter said that McKay would probably wind up leaving Nightwing, the director responded by saying “I’m pretty sure WB are going to have to fire me if they want me to leave Nightwing…..”
While there is no set date for the movie to begin production, McKay has told fans that he is working on the project. In particular there has been a lot of buzz about who will play the main character, with hints that casting announcements may be coming in the near future.
“Nightwing” is one of the superhero aliases of Dick Grayson, whom casual fans may know better as Batman’s first sidekick, Robin. In the comics, Dick eventually grew up and began his own superhero career under the new name, though he still teams up with his old mentor often. Batman, meanwhile, has since trained several other Boy Wonders, most notably his biological son, Damian Wayne.
McKay has experience with the Batfamily, having directed last year’s popular Lego Batman Movie, which featured a young, happy-go-lucky version of Dick. Many fans are looking forward to seeing his take on him grown up, so hopefully he will, indeed, stick around to show them.
The superhero movie rumor mill swirls. Things don’t seem all that positive for those who enjoy seeing Ben Affleck in the role of the Caped Crusader. Reportedly, Affleck may not be playing Batman in future DC Extended Universe films. Nothing is confirmed right now. So, Affleck is still officially Batman. Based on rumors, Affleck isn’t being fired from the role. Instead, he’s pondering leaving due to creative differences and unhappiness.
Two major issues that bother Affleck involve the problems surrounding The Batman solo film and the reception for Justice League. Affleck has departed The Batman after unhappiness over Warner Bros. attempting to rush the film into production. The box office failure of Justice League combined with the film’s critical drubbing further disillusioned Affleck. Likely, the overall uneven nature of the DCEU doesn’t give the actor much to be enthusiastic about.
Of course, all these rumors could turn out to be overstated. Affleck may eventually agree to appear as Batman in a number of future films. No one really knows what the whole story is right now. Granted, few would be shocked to discover the rumors turn out to be true and Afflect departs the role. His tenure as Batman hasn’t exactly been all that positive. Every film in which he appeared as Batman received horrible critical reviews. The problems cannot be dropped totally on the shoulders of Affleck, though.
Affleck’s departure could prove either helpful or disastrous to Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment. If Affleck were to leave, the production companies gain the potential to revamp and revitalize the classic superhero. Reversing the downward momentum the character currently experiences wouldn’t be a bad thing. The public’s perceptions of Affleck’s departure, however, could be very bad. Impressions of the DCEU may worsen from the negative publicity deriving from admitting Affleck’s tenure was a failure.