The Batman Release Date and Filming Likely Pushed Back

It looks like another setback for the DC Extended Universe, as Warner Bros.’ upcoming solo movie The Batman is likely to be delayed. According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, recently-hired director Matt Reeves is contracted by 20th Century Fox through June to complete work and promotion on this summer’s War for the Planet of the Apes, which will push the Batman release date (originally earmarked for 2018) and filming schedule back a ways. While word was shooting would begin later this year, it now looks like cameras won’t roll until 2018.

This follows news posted by the film’s star/co-writer Ben Affleck on his Facebook page that he has just completed a stint in rehab for alcohol addiction:

While it’s not unheard of for a director to prep another big tentpole while finishing up another (see J.J. Abrams with Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Wars: The Force Awakens), DC Films have had enough problems in the past with rushing films through the scripting phase. Both the studio and the fan community are putting a lot of chips on The Batman being both a sure thing and something of a creative refresh for the character after the much-maligned Batman v Superman, and in many ways the film will be even more important for all involved than Zack Snyder’s upcoming Justice League. According to Entertainment Weekly, Affleck’s alcohol treatment has not affected his role in The Batman, which he is still slated to star in despite rumors to the contrary. It is also important to note that the film has yet to receive a proper green light from the studio.

In The Batman, Ben Affleck will face off as the title hero against Joe Manganiello, who will play Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke, in the film. Additional appearances by Jeremy Irons as Alfred and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon are expected to happen as well.

Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) will direct the film. An official release date for The Batman, written by Affleck and Geoff Johns, hasn’t been set. Affleck will next appear as Batman in Justice League, opening in theaters on November 17. You can view photos from that film in the gallery below.