Ben Affleck’s tenure as the caped crusader is over, while the rumoured Joaquin Phoenix Joker movie is on, according to reports.
Affleck is said to be ‘unlikely’ to don the cowl again, after three movies playing Batman, a move previously rumoured, but now seemingly closer to becoming fact.
The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the next iteration will almost certainly be the one created by writer-director Matt Reeves, of the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, though Warner Bros has declined to comment.
The Batman is said to focus on a younger version of Gotham’s masked vigilante.
Meanwhile, despite having previously denied all knowledge of the project, a low-budget Joker origin story with Joaquin Phoenix as the clown prince of crime, is thought to be moving ahead.
To be made for $55 million, director Todd Phillips, who made the Hangover movies and 2016’s War Dogs with Jonah Hill and Miles Teller, will be behind the camera.
It’s set to start shooting in the autumn, and could be made under a new ‘label’ for DC’s Extended Universe, called either ‘DC Dark’ or ‘DC Black’.
This movie would be separately made to the planned Joker movie with Jared Leto, which will spin-off from the Suicide Squad strand.
The changes are reportedly being made by executive producer Walter Hamada, who is now in charge of DC movies for Warner Bros.
He made the Conjuring movies a hit for the New Line studio, and according to THR has been trying to get the DC world in order since taking up the role, as it faces continued competition from the cohesive ‘phase-based’ plans at Marvel.
One insider said: “He walked into a sh*tshow, and he’s trying to clean it up.”
The next DC movie will be Aquaman with Jason Momoa in December, followed by Shazam! and then Wonder Woman 2.
There are also plans for a Birds of Prey movie, which would centre around Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad, and a standalone movie for Ezra Miller’s The Flash, due to film in 2019.
There’s also a Batgirl movie in the offing too, though it lost its director Joss Whedon back in February.