Warner Bros looks to have dodged the speeding bullet that was the potential box office blood bath of 2015, by moving Batman vs Superman to May 6, 2016 – almost a full year after it was originally scheduled for release (July 17, 2015). While it’s good news to see the studio giving more time to develop the film, I’m worried that Ben Affleck might not make it into Batman’s cowl.
The studio has said the delay would ‘help fully realise the vision’ of director Zack Snyder. That’s a fairly generic statement, but the film would have been going up against the box office juggernaut that is the Avengers sequel (the highest grossing non-James Cameron movie of all time) so it makes sense to move it. When the news first broke it was mentioned that Affleck had injured his leg, leading to delay. It looks like this initial report was inaccurate and it’s more likely that Warner Bros. wanted to give the Superman/Batman team-up room to breathe. The studio hasn’t given up on the July date though, they dropped Pan, the Peter Pan origin tale (yawn) into that spot.
Affleck had planned to jump from Batman vs Superman into Live By Night, a film he was planning to direct (and star in). That film already has a December 25 2015 release date (prime awards real estate) – so it looks like this superhero move could cause Affleck some serious scheduling issues. It might mean that Affleck has to choose between the two movies – an interesting decision. Would Affleck rather make a passion project that could potentially get serious acclaim or a comic book movie that he’s already been criticised for, even though he hasn’t shot a frame of film yet?
I’d probably say the former, which means I think Affleck is going to bail on the DC comics movie. I hope I’m wrong, but I get the feeling that Affleck isn’t going to be donning Batman’s cape. I’m sensing a statement prominently featuring the phrase ‘scheduling issues’ will be released in the not too distant future.