Ben Affleck's THE BATMAN Would Have Taken The Caped Crusader Into Arkham Asylum

The Batman is now being helmed by Matt Reeves and will star Robert Pattinson but the cinematographer who was set to work on Ben Affleck's version has now shared details about the direction of that version.

Ben Affleck's version of The Batman was dangled over our heads like a carrot for years. Unfortunately, after multiple delays, the version of the movie he wrote with Geoff Johns lost the actor as both a director and then a star as well. Now, Matt Reeves is bringing the Dark Knight back to the big screen with Robert Pattinson wearing the cape and cowl. 

However, during a recent interview, Robert Richardson (who was set to serve as The Batman's cinematographer) revealed some new details about Affleck's version of the movie and it sounds like as well as Deathstroke, the hero would have been heading into Arkham Asylum. 

"I wanted to shoot Batman with Ben [Affleck] cause that was the next film we had," Richardson revealed. "There was a script, but not a loved script. There was a lot of work he was doing to it to change it. He was going into the more insanity aspects... He was entering more into the Arkham, he’s going into where everyone was bad."

It clearly would have been a very dark tale then and when it was pointed out that Arkham Asylum has never really been portrayed to its full potential on the big screen, Richardson added: "No, and that’s where we were going. I was very interested in that one."

Unfortunately, we'll probably never know how this adventure would have played out but with Warner Bros. looking to take the DC Extended Universe in a different direction after Justice League bombed, it's no great surprise that the studio decided not to release a dark tale revolving around the "insanity" of the residents of Arkham Asylum. 

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everything we know about The Batman's villains!

The Villains We Know About



A few different people have held the "Firefly" mantle over the years, but common sense says it will be Garfield Lynns we see in The Batman. A former special effects expert who became obsessed with flames and starting fires, he's definitely in the minor leagues when it comes to the Dark Knight's villains but there's still a lot of potential here. 

After all, the sight of Batman fighting him as they're both surrounded by flames would be something very unique from a visual standpoint. According to the casting call doing the rounds, Reeves wants a male actor between the ages of 20 and 30 of any ethnicity, and we can safely assume that he'll be a henchmen or someone Batman quickly deals with. 

The Riddler


The Riddler is reportedly The Batman's main villain, and considering we've heard so much about this movie finally making use of the hero's detective skills, it's hard to think of anyone better to fill that role. After all, while we'll no doubt get plenty of action, someone like Edward Nygma gives us the opportunity to really see how smart the Caped Crusader is. 

Reeves has spent a long time on the screenplay, so that hopefully means we're getting a story full of twists and turns and a big Hush-style surprise that'll tie everything together in a shocking way. Once again, Reeves is said to be looking for an actor of any ethnicity, this time between the ages of 30 and 40, and there are a lot of suggestions already doing the rounds among fans. 

Mad Hatter


The inclusion of Mad Hatter is definitely unexpected, but he has a lot of history with the Dark Knight - even if he'll never be up there with the likes of The Riddler and The Joker. Jervis Tetch is obsessed with Alice in Wonderland and bases his crimes on the novel. That could fit nicely into this detective story, but will Reeves head down the route of including his mind control technology?

That ultimately depends on how much the filmmaker is embracing the source material, but it would help Mad Hatter stand out and could introduce some very interesting and unexpected moments like Batman fighting a mind-controlled Catwoman. Regardless, the director wants an actor between 40 and 50 to play this particular bad guy. 



Now this is very exciting indeed. Rather than starting off with Harvey Dent and giving us yet another origin story for Gotham City's former District Attorney, it appears as if Reeves will jump head first into using the villainous Two-Face from the very start. Making him an established criminal with just the odd reference to his past with Bruce Wayne and Batman is by far the best option. 

Thinking back to how Two-Face was used in the Arkham series of video games, that might also be what we see here, and it would be nice for us to get a comic accurate take on the villain. Time will tell on that front, but expect Reeves to cast an actor of any ethnicity between the ages of 30 and 40.

The Penguin


The Penguin has been linked to The Batman from the very start and seeing as it's hard to pick up a comic featuring the Dark Knight that doesn't feature him interrogating Oswald Cobblepot in his Iceberg Lounge about Gotham City's criminal dealings, it's not hard to figure out what his role will be here. 

Reeves can easily set the stage for The Penguin to be a bigger threat down the line, and treating him as a "Kingpin" of sorts definitely makes sense. With any luck, though, he will embrace the source material and won't shy away from some of the character's more ridiculous elements. What we do know is that Reeves wants an actor between the ages of 20 and 40, so he's casting a wide net. 



While she's been lumped in with the rest of these rogues as a "villain," common sense says Catwoman will actually be more of an anti-hero. Batman being attracted to Selina Kyle despite her being a criminal and cat burglar has always been one of the most interesting things about their relationship, and that dynamic is a must for The Batman

Reeves certainly appears to be looking for a younger actress to fill the role as he wants someone between the ages of 20 and 30. That more than likely means she'll be relatively new to a life of crime, and we can probably expect her to divide Batman's loyalties and be the movie's main love interest. 

Four More Villains We Need To See



Clayface is definitely one of Batman's zanier villains but in recent years, we've learned a lot more about what makes Basil Karlo tick. Whether it's the twisted, non-powered serial killer version of the character or the monster you see above, there's an awful lot he could bring to the table here.

After all, if The Batman is indeed going to be a noir-driven detective story, then who better for the Dark Knight to face off with than someone who can change their appearance at will? 

Tweedledum And Tweedledee


With Mad Hatter set to appear in The Batman, the pint-sized villain is going to need some backup when he faces off with the Caped Crusader. Well, Tweedledum and Tweedledee have fought Batman on his behalf on a number of occasions and it would be great to see the hero make short work of them when he crosses paths with the Alice in Wonderland themed bad guy. 

This is the sort of cameo that would more than likely only be appreciated by die-hard Batman fans, but it's also one that makes sense given Mad Hatter's inclusion and a good excuse for Reeves to show off some of the Dark Knight's fighting abilities. 

Poison Ivy


While Catwoman is going to be part of The Batman, the movie currently doesn't have a female villain, so who better than Poison Ivy to fill that void? While it might be tricky to include her in the main story (unless the Dark Knight is going to track down his rogues throughout Gotham City), a cameo in Arkham Asylum makes sense. 

After all, imagine how cool it would be for the hero to walk past her cell and for us to just get a glimpse of a woman inside surrounded by foliage? It would be one heck of a tease and opens the door to her making an appearance down the line. 

The Joker


The Joker has been done to death on the big screen at this point, and with Joaquin Phoenix's take on the Clown Prince of Crime likely to be every bit as divisive as Jared Leto's, it would definitely be interesting to see what Reeves would do with another fresh take on the iconic villain. 

This wouldn't need to be any more than a cameo in Arkham Asylum, and The Joker should definitely be introduced as someone Batman has already crossed paths with rather than a new foe. There being history between these two automatically makes their twisted relationship that more interesting, and it would be no bad thing for him to have pulled some of the strings here.

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everything we know so far about The Batman!

It May End Up Being Set In The 1990s


It wouldn't really make much sense for Robert Pattinson to "replace" Ben Affleck's version of Batman given their age difference, and we've heard from a number of reliable sources that Reeves wants to focus on a younger, not quite as experienced version of the hero. As a result, rumours have done the rounds claiming that this adventure is actually going to be set during the 1990s. 

This "period" setting for The Batman would free Reeves from having to link to what's come before and the rest of the DCEU, but fans will obviously be hopeful for some connections.

Honestly, though, 90s setting or not, common sense says this will essentially be a reboot for the franchise because it's doubtful that Reeves will be happy about being forced to adhere to specific plot points like Wayne Manor being burned down and Robin being murdered by Jared Leto's younger Joker. 

Matt Reeves Is Planning A Trilogy


These days, an actor being signed to a three-picture deal is no great surprise, and we've seen stars who have ended up starring in trilogies along with those who have been done after just one appearance because a movie hasn't exactly lived up to expectations.

With that in mind, Robert Pattinson being signed up to star in three movies is hardly a shock, but a number of outlets have claimed that Reeves is writing The Batman with an entire trilogy in mind. If that's true, here's hoping the filmmaker is able to write the screenplays a little quicker than he has with this one because, otherwise, we'll be waiting three or four years between each chapter!

The Penguin And Catwoman Are "Confirmed" To Appear...


According to The Hollywood Reporter and a few different outlets, the lead villain in The Batman is expected to be The Penguin. He's someone we've seen on the big screen before now and definitely a bad guy who could benefit from a contemporary makeover. 

Another character whose name has been mentioned time and time again is Catwoman, and while Selina Kyle may have made an appearance in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, it would be nice to get a comic book accurate version of the anti-hero on the big screen, especially after Tim Burton took her down a rather weird, gothic route way back when.

But before you dismiss The Batman as a Batman Returns remake, there's some good news...

...We May See Even More Villains


Batman's world is full of amazing villains, and that's not something Reeves is going to be shying away from. Apparently, we could end up seeing as many as half a dozen of his rogues and The Riddler's name keeps popping up. Whether this means Batman will be facing multiple bad guys or simply paying a visit to Arkham Asylum remains to be seen, but the filmmaker may have sequels in mind. 

After all, laying the groundwork here for more villains means he can gloss over their origin stories (something the Dark Knight's villains have never really needed) and just dive straight into new adventures which are bound to make comic book fans happy. 

Younger Versions Of Familiar Faces


Jeremy Irons was a great Alfred Pennyworth and while his screentime in Justice League was minimal, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that J.K. Simmons could have stolen the show as Commissioner Gordon. Sadly, it doesn't sound like either of them will be returning for The Batman.

Instead, we'll most likely be getting new versions of both characters, presumably with younger actors taking on the roles. That's a shame, but providing Reeves casts them well, it could still be great.

What About Robin?


The Boy Wonder is currently part of Titans, but it seems as if that version of Dick Grayson will have ditched the Robin mantle after just a single season in order to become Nightwing. In terms of his big screen appearances, we've seen nothing of him since Batman & Robin (The Dark Knight Rises' "Robin" doesn't really count...) so his return is definitely overdue at this point. 

Well, while this should be taken as a rumour for now, it's said that The Batman could end up reintroducing the character and it would definitely make sense for Reeves to explore this relationship over the course of three movies. After all, there's a lot to be said about how and why Bruce Wayne could justify having a child by his side while fighting criminals and murderers.

The Focus Will Be On The Caped Crusader's Detective Skills


Every Batman film we've seen over the years has done a good job with the Dark Knight in very different ways, but if there's one thing that they've all dropped the ball on, it's the fact that he's known as the World's Greatest Detective. Well, Reeves has promised to put the spotlight on those skills and that could mean we're getting a proper crime story that really makes use of more than just his fists. 

With an enemy like The Penguin, a crime story like this makes sense, so fingers crossed Reeves' screenplay delivers plenty of twists and turns in order to make this new take particularly memorable. 

Matt Reeves Has Confirmed Robert Pattinson's Casting


For those of you who are having doubts about whether Robert Pattinson really is Batman, the trades are reporting that it's a done deal, and Reeves himself has now taken to social media to confirm that's the case with a Tweet featuring a GIF of the actor along with three Bat emojis. 

He beat Nicholas Hoult for the role and has signed a multi-picture contract which means "Battinson" (R.I.P. "Batfleck") will be here for quite some time. That gives the actor plenty of time to put his mark on the character and we'll hopefully get a trilogy as good as The Dark Knight series.

It's A "Noir" Tale


According to Reeves, we can expect The Batman to be a "point of view-driven, noir Batman tale." He adds that, "It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional." Honestly that sounds like a perfect approach to the property. 

Tim Burton gave us a gothic take on the character, Nolan went down the realistic route, and Snyder went to the darker corners of Batman's universe with a world-weary version of Bruce Wayne. 

Now, Reeves has the opportunity to do something completely new and this "noir" approach may be the right direction to take things in. Time will obviously tell what that ends up looking like. 

Production Will Begin Next Year


According to fairly reliable sources, The Batman will start shooting in the first quarter of 2020 and that actually gives us a good idea of what to expect both this year and next. For starters, casting will continue throughout the rest of 2019, and set photos are likely to start popping up when shooting begins - depending on where Warner Bros. and Reeves decide to transform into Gotham City. 

A teaser trailer arriving at next year's San Diego Comic-Con also makes sense given how the studio usually handled this type of thing, and it will hopefully be sooner rather than later we see Pattinson suited up as Batman as that costume reveal is always very exciting. 

The Batman Is Inspired By Jekyll And Hyde


Late last year, Reeves was asked about his take on the Bruce Wayne/Batman divide and which of them is real and which is the facade. Interestingly, when it came to his inspiration for how that aspect of the character will be handled, the filmmaker pointed to Jekyll and Hyde being a factor. 

"I think that it’s interesting, because one of the things that I’ve found interesting, just as we’re working on the story, is looking back at Jekyll and Hyde, and the idea of your shadow-self, and the idea of, we are all multiple things. It’s different aspects of who we are, and I think there are times when maybe the surface of Bruce is not really who he is, but that’s his disguise. There are times when Batman’s the disguise, but there are times when his true essence comes out, because by being veiled, a kind of instinctual side comes out that’s very pure."


It's Called The Batman...For Now


We first learned that The Batman would be the new film's title when Affleck was still in the director's chair, and while it's definitely a cool name for the DC Comics adaptation, there's nothing to say that Reeves will want to keep it (after all, he completely ditched the screenplay Affleck and Johns wrote). 

Asked what the title will be in an interview last year, Reeves said: "Right now it’s called The Batman. What it will be called ultimately, I don’t know..." In other words, expect it to change, and if it does, Warner Bros. will more than likely reveal the title when production starts in early 2020. 
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