Welcome back to The Collider Pop Culture Review, in which Collider’s weekend editor Vinnie Mancuso wakes up only slightly hungover on a Saturday to rate the week’s biggest stories in film and television on a scale from 1 to 10. (1 is soul-crushingly bad, 10 is mind-blowingly incredible.) This week: Matt Reeves’ The Batman will reportedly begin filming in November with no word yet on who is under the mask, Netflix revealed The Punisher season 2’s premiere date with a dark trailer, Aquaman is officially the highest-grossing movie in the DCEU, and Todd McFarlane would like you to know well in advance that you will not enjoy his Spawn movie.
‘The Batman’ Will Reportedly Start Production in November 2019
Rating: 7, or “I suppose you’ll take up flying next, like that fellow in Metropolis.”
Matt Reeves, more than a year removed from dead-ass making me weep real human tears in public over a CGI monkey, has been on quite the journey to get The Batman up on the big screen. Back when the project was first announced in 2015, Reeves wasn’t even in the picture; Ben Affleck himself was set to star, write the screenplay, and direct, which low-key meant that at several points throughout production Ben Affleck was going to have to tell a cinematographer where to place a camera while also wearing hilariously stubby bat ears. Long story short, this fell through for reasons both personal and professional. Affleck went off to commission an actual cave-dwelling bat to give him a back tattoo, and Reeves hopped aboard as producer and director in 2017. Assumedly because it’s confusing that Bruce Wayne would give a three-page monologue about how fun the Samuel Adams Brewery tour is, the War for the Planet of the Apes filmmaker later announced the script, too, would be revised, and production was pushed back yet again to give Reeves the chance to churn out his “noir-driven”, Hitchcock-inspired original story.
Well, it’s 2019, the most popular DC movie ever features a Lovecraft monster voiced by the OG Mary Poppins, not a single person on this Earth knows if Ben Affleck is still down to play the Dark Knight anymore, and yet, and yet, The Batman will reportedly start production in November. Which means, fingers, crossed, sometime between now and then Warner Bros. will announce just who exactly will be donning the cape and cow. If it’s still Affleck! Fine! That’s fine. The movies he was in were largely two-and-a-half-hour sludge-dramas with the color palette of a Snack Pack pudding cup accidentally left out of the refrigerator, but Ben Affleck actually made for a killer Batman. No, that’s not a joke about how Ben Affleck’s Batman committed several murders in Batman vs. Superman. I was incredibly okay with that. You enter a career where a clown repeatedly breaks out of jail specifically to hit you in the dick with a comically oversized bowling ball pin and see how long you go without killing anyone.
If it’s not Affleck? Plenty of options! Many have said Jon Hamm, but that’s an extremely safe choice and possibly a bit too seasoned-looking for Reeves’ Bruce Wayne, who is reportedly on the younger side. Armie Hammer is like 8 feet tall and seemingly stole Jon Hamm’s exact voice through witchcraft. John Cena is the same height as Armie Hammer except sideways, what’s he doing? The best way to describe Adam Driver‘s entire aesthetic is “he looks like someone who watched his parents die.” Get him on board! What about Trevante Rhodes? Lord knows he’s not going to be tied up in a Predator sequel.
All I ask is from this film—which truthfully I still won’t believe is happening until Matt Reeves personally throws a DVD copy tied to a Batarang through my window—is that it has the world’s greatest detective do a little detective-ing. A smidge of deducing. If this dude dusts for fingerprints one time it will be the best Batman movie since The Dark Knight. Somewhere between The Dark Knight Rises and Dawn of Justice, big-screen Batman’s defining trait became the fact that he’d set the Lunk Alarm off at Planet Fitness. There’s a brain under that mask.