Why The Next Solo Batman Film Might Be The Best Yet
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Why The Next Solo Batman Film Might Be The Best Yet

The Dark Knight is absolutely the best Batman film, but this upcoming movie could surpass it.

Why The Next Solo Batman Film Might Be The Best Yet
Men's Journal

Without a doubt, the most popular superhero from any company is Batman. People love the human relatability of him and the awesome rogue's gallery of villains he has. He’s a hero that doesn’t need superpowers to succeed. We’ve had some incredible Batman films to date, like the 2008 masterpiece, The Dark Knight, and Batman from 1989, but the next one could easily become the best and here’s why that might be.

1. Ben Affleck

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The guy is a godsend for fans of the caped crusader. Affleck was one of the consistently praised aspects of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice among fans and critics. Not only is he a talented actor that has proved to be a stellar Batman and Bruce Wayne, but he is an even better writer and director. He has won two Oscars so far in his career – one for writing (Good Will Hunting) and the other for Argo, which he directed and won Best Picture in 2013.

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The next standalone Batman movie (rumored to be titled The Batman) will see Affleck as co-writer, director, and star as the lead. Affleck said the following during a journalist visit to the Justice League set: “I have a script, we’re working on it, and I’m not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, for which I have the highest set of standards.” In addition, Affleck has always praised The Dark Knight trilogy and has always put an emphasis on story and characterization over special effects. Since Affleck’s Batman is the best fighter of them all, we should strap ourselves in for one heck of a movie.

2. Geoff Johns

Geoff Johns is the President and Chief Creative Officer for DC Entertainment. He is highly praised by Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder, and many fans around the world. That praise comes from having written some of the best comic-book origins and storylines of all-time and not only understanding the characters, but also what they are known for and pushing them to new levels. Johns re-imagined the Justice Society of America, Green Lantern, and Flash by building the universe around what each character stands and fights for too great success. This style was given the nickname of Johnsian Literalism by Comics Alliance.

Johns graduated from Michigan State University and soon after began working and learning under the director of Superman: The Movie, Richard Donner. In 2009, Johns wrote the graphic novel, Superman: Brainiac (which is what I hope the next Man of Steel film takes inspiration from), and most recently brought DC Comics back to the forefront with Rebirth. He has written a draft of Wonder Woman as well, which will enter theaters next summer, and after the release of Suicide Squad, he was promoted to co-running DC Films at Warner Bros.

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So with all these great credentials out of the way, what does Geoff Johns have to do with Ben Affleck’s Batman movie? Well, Johns is co-writing it with Ben Affleck. They have been writing it for probably close to a year now and are rumored to go into production in the spring. Johns recently spoke about writing the script with Affleck: “He’s amazing, but he’s amazing at dialogue. When he reads the dialogue I just sit there going ‘Wow, I’m talking to Batman!’” I’m getting good vibes just hearing that, but just wait until you hear about what the movie might actually be taking inspiration from.

3. Main Villain

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It has been confirmed that Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike XXL, True Blood) will play the main villain known as Deathstroke. The character is a deadly, one-eyed assassin that can fight toe-to-toe with Batman physically and mentally. Deathstroke was the main antagonist during the second season of Arrow, portrayed by Manu Bennett, and is still considered the best villain on the show. Although Manganiello’s Slade Wilson, or Deathstroke, will be featured heavily in the Batman standalone movie, there’s a chance he could appear in Justice League next November. For comic fans, Affleck has stated that this version of Deathstroke will be more in line with the New 52 version of the character.

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Manganiello talked to former professional wrestling commentator Mark Madden about the Batman movie: “[Ben Affleck’s] take is a fresh take, but I think the audience is going to be surprised because it’s a road that no one’s really gone down that’s completely integral to, you know, who Batman is.” Manganiello continued that the film will “Take the franchise in a direction that I think A LOT of people are going to be really happy about. It’s going to be gritty and action packed and cerebral and all of those elements that people love about Batman.”Manganiello sounds really excited about making this film.

4. Potential Storylines

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It was reported this summer around the time of San Diego Comic-Con that Affleck’s Batman movie would heavily feature Arkham Asylum and potentially other villains in the rogues gallery to create the definitive Batman movie. Umberto Gonzalez, creator of Heroic Hollywood and author at The Wrap, seems to have a good handle on scoops and has since said that the film won’t be entirely set at Arkham Asylum, but it sounds like that might be an important aspect of the film.

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The famous location originated from the 1989 graphic novel, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, or later referred to as Batman: Arkham Asylum, was written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dave McKean. It told the story of Batman having to go inside the creepy psychiatric hospital on April Fool’s Day (being run by the villains) and battle his demons all over again. It’s a very dark story that should not be read by the faint of heart, but is considered one of the best Batman stories ever told. The critically-acclaimed video game Batman: Arkham Asylum was influenced by the graphic novel.

5. Talented Supporting Cast

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Last, but not least, the film will have an incredibly talented cast around Ben Affleck and Joe Manganiello. Jeremy Irons, portraying Alfred Pennyworth, will return and said that he will have a larger role in the film compared to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. For those that don’t already know, J.K. Simmons (Whiplash, Spider-Man) will make his first appearance in the DCEU in Justice League as Commissioner Gordon and continue with the solo Batman film.

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While it is unknown at the present time, there’s a chance that Jared Leto’s Joker could be in the film as well. The Joker didn’t get enough screen time in Suicide Squad for audiences to make a firm decision about his take on the iconic character, but so far he has received a lukewarm response. Speaking of Suicide Squad, since most of the main characters in that movie are Batman villains, it’s certainly possible that some of them could appear in the film as well.

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Do you want to know my favorite part of the supporting cast so far? Affleck, Irons, Simmons, and Leto have all won Oscars, so the majority of the main cast have all demonstrated their ability to perform at a very high level – most of them consistently at a high level. It never hurts to add talent to a film and this film will have an abundance of it.

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Closing Thoughts

With all things considered, this film could make for one compelling film. It has a high mountain to climb in order to become the best Batman movie ever, especially since The Dark Knight is regarded as one of the best films ever. Having said that, if any DCEU film were to surpass it, this upcoming Batman movie might be the one to do it. Do you agree? Are you still on the fence about it? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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