This week, Bret Easton Ellis let slip a piece of insider information which leaves us concerned about the state of the upcoming Batfleck movie. The yet-untitled Batman film will be part of Zack Snyder’s DC film universe, though it looks to be in jeopardy. According to The Ringer, some unnamed studio executives told Ellis over dinner that the execs working on the film “don’t really care” about the Batman script having “serious problems,” allegedly because “70 percent of [the] audience is not going to be seeing this in English.”
Though we don’t know a whole lot just yet regarding the film’s details, Ben Affleck did tease fans with a Deathstroke reveal not too long ago, which got pretty much everyone excited. Though the popular, long-time Bat-villian — played by Joe Manganiello — seems a great choice to go toe-to-toe with our brooding hero, we don’t know much more about the project other than Affleck’s forward-facing PR-tier enthusiasm for the project and now this new, sobering bit of industry reality tinged with remorse.
The thing is, a lot of people really dug Affleck’s grumbling (and gun-toting) portrayal of the caped crusader, and many more fans jumped on board with the upcoming Batman story upon hearing the Deathstroke news. Affleck’s got the acting and directing chops to do a decent job at bringing us a Batman solo movie, but unfortunately a bad script will be a bad script no matter who you put in front of the camera (see Gigli or 2003’s Daredevil or even Man of Steel).
Ellis reminds us that “global concerns play a big part in how movies, and what movies, are being made.” It’s an industry looking to make money, and despite being critical failures, these movies make execs quite a bit of money, so why bother actually trying? The larger article from the Ringer speaks to this ongoing phenomenon that plagues far too many franchises, particularly the DC cinematic universe. One can only hope that they can turn things around with The Batfleck and maybe even sooner in The Justice League.
The Justice League is scheduled to open November 17, 2017 with the untitled standalone Batman movie (hopefully) due out later than that.