Comments made by The Batman director Matt Reeves in July have resurfaced where he said Warner Bros. informed him at the time he was joining the project that The Batman "isnít part of the [DC} extended universe."
Reeves told journalist Kim Masters of this on her July 17th podcast The Business, but†reddit users have only just discovered his comments and helped spread them online. It should be noted this podcast was recorded prior to Warner Bros.' San Diego Comic-Con presentation where they officially announced (most) of their upcoming DC films slate, including The Batman, and obviously well before yesterday's news that a separate DC Films imprint is in the works for standalone DC movies.
Reeves said on the podcast that he has†"a vision for a way to do something with that character that at least feels like it resonates with me personally and a perspective that can grow outward into other things but is really about --but when they approached me, what they said was, Ďlook, itís a standalone, this isnít part of the extended universe.'"
Earlier on the show he recalled initial discussions he had with Warner Bros. about the project: "I said, listen, if you want someone who's coming in from this perspective -- because here's the thing: I'm also totally fine not doing Batman. It's not like I want to do any version of Batman; I want to do my version of Batman and if that's exciting to them, which so far everything we've talked about is, then that's incredibly exciting because that means, wow, we're going to do something we're all excited about. And if they're not, it's completely their prerogative. This is their franchise. They own the characters, they're going to spend a tremendous amount of money so I'm not asking anybody to do what they don't want to do. All I'm saying is if we want to do the same thing, great, and if we don't, that's also OK."
Reeves also said, "I think they're really excited about what they've been able to do with Patty Jenkins on Wonder Woman and that they feel really good about a lot of stuff that they have and they're really excited about the perspective that were talking about for this and I am too. But it's really in its nascent stages, so who knows?"
If Reeves' The Batman is not part of the DCEU then that would seem to suggest a different actor other than Ben Affleck could play the Dark Knight in his film, although Reeves said in June that Affleck was still going to play the role. Warner Bros. is already said to be looking to cast a different actor other than Suicide Squad's Jared Leto for the title role in their†Joker origin movie, which will reportedly be the first film under "a new banner that has yet to be named in which WB can expand the canon of DC properties and create unique storylines with different actors playing the iconic characters."
Many rumors have swirled in the last several months that Affleck wants out of the DCEU, including a THR report from right before July's Comic-Con that claimed Warner Bros. "is working on plans to usher out Affleckís Batman gracefully."†The author of that THR story? Kim Masters, the same reporter whose podcast is the source of Reeves' comments cited in this article. Her THR article on Affleck was published four days after her podcast with Reeves. Affleck brushed off the THR report onstage at Comic-Con without definitively denying that he was planning to leave the role.
Reeves isn't using the Batman script written by Affleck and DC Films co-boss Geoff Johns, and don't forget that†Affleck was curiously omitted from the official press release announcing Reeves' hiring for The Batman.
IGN reached out to our DC and Warner Bros. contacts for comment and clarification but had not heard back at time of publish.