The Original Script For THE BATMAN Reportedly Featured The Joker And Several Other Villains

Following the news that Ben Affleck would be stepping down as the director of Warner Bros.' next solo Batman movie, Forbes has published an in-depth report that may contain some intriguing new details.

Ever since the announcement that Ben Affleck would no longer be taking the helm of The Batman, we've all wondered what was going on over at Warner Bros., and what the ramifications would be for the DC Films Universe as a whole. We do know that Affleck will be staying on as the Dark Knight (for the time being, anyway) and that the search is currently on for a replacement director - but with reports coming in of extensive script rewrites, the movie could still wind up very different to how it was originally envisioned.

With this in mind, Forbes has published an extensive novel report on what they reckon has been going on behind the scenes. Quite a lot of it seems like pure speculation, but they do also cite sources for a couple of intriguing details about the original draft of the script, which is now set to undergo rewrites (or could possibly be scrapped altogether) from Chris Terrio.

Here's an excerpt:

"The story for The Batman originally included the assassin Deathstroke as a main villain, with Joe Manganiello cast in the role, as well as a few other likely villainous appearances by characters including the Joker, according to sources familiar with the project. Jared Leto, who portrayed the Joker in Suicide Squad, has for months expressed his displeasure about the removal of substantial portions of his performance from the final cut of the film, raising questions about whether he would return to the role in future movies. He seems to have softened his stance lately and appears interested in a possible return, but whether he will ultimately be part of The Batman or Gotham City Sirens remains to be seen."

Again, there's a lot of ifs and maybes here - but if Forbes is privy to some inside info regarding the original screenplay, it might be worth keeping an eye on as plans for the film move forward.

The Batman is looking likely for a 2019 release as the search for a new director (Matt Reeves is the rumored frontrunner) gets underway.  Keep an eye on CBM for updates, and in the meantime be sure to share your thoughts in the usual place.
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