Warner Bros. is taking a break from Justice League-style team-up movies for the time being within the DC Extended Universe, instead looking to more grounded solo efforts like Matt Reeves' The Batman. With this new take on the Caped Crusader coming as the franchise's next theatrical release, all eyes are on the new director in Reeves to see what kind of universe he can build around Bruce Wayne.
This "Year One" story will bring a nearly unprecedented number of personalities from Batman's rogues' gallery with Paul Dano's Riddler taking on the leading responsibility in that category. The Batman will also move away from the first DCEU's Dark Knight in Ben Affleck, instead choosing to focus on a version from a different universe that's barely had any experience as a solo hero, much less as a part of a team.
Knowing that this movie takes place in a universe that hasn't seen any other heroes like Superman or Wonder Woman, the question is whether Robert Pattinson's Batman will find himself meeting any major players from that extended universe. However, that question has been answered firmly in a recent interview on the matter with Reeves.
Batman Director Didn't Want Justice League Cameos
Reeves mentioned Ben Affleck's past version of the movie from when Affleck was set to direct it, even saying he respects the "extended universe" that Warner Bros. has built through its DC movies. However, the director didn't want to make his version of Batman "have to carry the weight" of having all those characters and plot points connect while telling his own story:
“Ben [Affleck] had been working on a version of the script. Snd I said, ‘Here’s the thing: I respect that the DC Universe has become an extended universe and all the movies were kind of connected. But another Batman film, it shouldn’t have to carry the weight of connecting the characters from all those other movies. I didn’t want them in there.”
Batman Standing Apart from Justice League
After Marvel Studios delivered such incredible results with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Warner Bros. wanted a taste of that action and built its own interconnected story with DC's top heroes and the Justice League starting in 2013. Bruce Wayne's own debut in this universe came as a part of a team-up movie with Ben Affleck first playing the role in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was only the second DCEU movie.
Affleck's troubles with the role aside, Reeves' new take on the Caped Crusader still technically takes place in another corner of the story that's been building for nearly a decade. However, looking at where his version of Batman is in his life and his superhero career, the director didn't want the added pressure of Pattinson's hero having to work its way into stories for other heroes like Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
With Michael Keaton's 1989 Batman already joining the DCEU through the Multiverse in this year's The Flash, the question of Pattinson's eventual arrival is an important one to consider.
For now, this new take on the billionaire playboy seems destined to be the lead in a true Batman solo story, which still has plenty of paths it could take in future outings. Sure, other Justice League heroes may come into play alongside him sometime down the road, but not every superhero movie in the modern era necessarily has to build up to that status.
The Batman will debut in theaters on March 4, 2022.