There has been much speculation about the location of the upcoming Batman movie starring Ben Affleck. The latest rumors insist that The Batman may be produced on a soundstage instead of on-location, with much of the plot taking place in the Arkham Asylum, which has resulted in mixed reactions among the fan base. The shooting would likely take place at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, CA. Because of the limits of a soundstage, The Batman may resemble Tim Burton’s stylized Batman Returns production more so than the atmosphere of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series.
It seems as though the decision makers at Warner Bros are content with completing the project with or without Ben Affleck’s participation, as this is sure to be a major blockbuster. The likelihood of The Batman taking place on a soundstage comes with some advantages, such as a lower overall production cost, but also presents its fair share of limitations. Batman is known for his high-flying maneuvers, using the city and its nuances to complement the essence of the character, but confining the project to a soundstage will undoubtedly limit the action scenes considerably. Some of the villains have already been revealed, including Deathstroke, who is said to be played by Joe Manganiello.
Ben Affleck has recently gone on the record to discuss the current progress of the movie, revealing that most aspects of production are in the very early stages, including the script. He also discussed the prospect of not participating in the project if the specifics of production are not on par with his own expectations. Acting as the director, star, and co-writer, this would be a tremendous setback for the future of The Batman project. Recently there has been talk of replacing Affleck with another notable director, due to his perceived lack of interest and motivation to complete the project. Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, has already created projects within the Marvel Universe (The Avengers: Age of Ultron), and could be first in line to take the project over should Affleck remove himself from The Batman.
The two movies that saw Ben Affleck as Batman in 2016 were both in the top 10 of the highest grossing movies in 2016. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice came in eighth with over $330 million in sales with Suicide Squad, which Affleck briefly appeared in, was ninth with over $325 million. The appetite to see Affleck as the Caped Crusader is there, so Affleck would be foolish to not fully pursue put his heart into this film.
Production is slated to begin as early as March of 2017, but this seems to be only a sanguine outlook due to the lack of documented progress on the film. There have been reports that completion of the film is over a year and a half away. Most of the projects produced within the DC Universe have taken an average of one to two years, which puts the theatrical release date as late 2018 or early 2019.