Ben Affleck (Photo: Getty Images)
By Pamela McClintock
Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed Tuesday his studio is moving ahead with Ben Affleck’s stand-alone Batman movie, which the actor will star in and direct.
The studio mogul touched upon the movie when appearing at CinemaCon, the annual gathering of cinema operators in Las Vegas. He touted the record-opening of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which teams Batman (Affleck) and Superman (Henry Cavill) on the big screen for the first time and launches the DC cinematic universe.
“It set up a great foundation for our DC slate, which includes at least 10 movies through 2020,” said Tsuijhara. “I’m also excited to know that we will be working with Ben Affleck on a stand-alone Batman movie.”
This isn’t the first time the prospect of an Affleck-originated Batman movie has been raised. During San Diego Comic-Con last year, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the actor-director was developing a stand-alone Batman project with DC Entertainment chief creative officer Geoff Johns.
And in a recent THR interview with WME-IMG’s co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell, Whtesell revealed how many movies Affleck has currently signed up for when it comes to DC’s Caped Crusader.
“He’s contracted to do at least Justice League 1 and 2, so at least three times wearing the cape,” Whitesell said, adding, “There’s a script that he’s written that is a really cool [Batman] idea, so that’s out there as an option.”
Batman v. Superman, directed by Zack Snyder, has grossed nearly $800 million to date, despite a steep decline following its record opening.
After Tsujihara’s turn on the stage at CinemaCon, Affleck and Batman v. Superman co-star Amy Adams introduced a reel touting the DC cinematic universe.
The stand-alone Batman movie has yet to be officially dated, although there’s rampant speculation that it will take one of the two slots Warner Bros. recently reserved for two untitled DC films; Oct. 5, 2018 and Nov. 1, 2019. The other could go to Suicide Squad 2.
“You get your first real taste of this expanding universe,” Warners film chief Greg Silverman said in the clip.
The DC films already dated include Suicide Squad (Aug. 5, 2016), Wonder Woman (June 2, 2017), The Justice League Part 1 (Nov. 17, 2017), The Flash (March 16, 2018), Aquaman (July 27, 2018), Shazam! (April 5, 2019), Justice League Part 2 (June 14, 2019), Cyborg (April 3, 2020) and Green Lantern Corps (June 19, 2020).