According to the website Midgard Times, Warner Bros. Discovery is preparing to delay principal photography on the upcoming The Batman 2. Originally, the filmmakers were planning a November start date in London, but now, due to the writers’ strike, it looks like principal photography will not start until March 2024 at the earliest.
Matt Reeves is returning to direct and was writing the script with Mattson Tomlin. The writing stoppage forced by the WGA forced them to stop typing away in early May, and the stage of the script is currently unknown. Because of that, the new date is definitely a tentative one, based on optimistic projections of the strike being over by Labor Day.
But we don’t know that it will be the case yet, and things could only get worse if the directors and/or actors join the strike this summer. At the same time, that would only put more pressure on the studios to reach a deal with all parties involved, thus forcing everyone to go back to work as normal. Or it could backfire and send us into the fall with an industry-wide stoppage and a cloud of uncertainty over the entire system. That would be catastrophic, and The Batman 2 getting pushed a few more months would be the least of our problems.
The Batman 2 and the writers’ strike
The big question now is about the stage the script is in for The Batman 2. Many studios set deadlines by the end of April for new drafts of their scripts, but it’s unknown if this was also the case for Reeves and Tomlin. Reeves already swam in murky waters with drafts for the first film, delivering his script many months after the studio’s original deadline, and though the studio has more pressure on him now as they want to strike with a sequel while the iron is hot, it’s entirely possible this could happen again.
Despite the push of the production start date, Midgard Times is insisting this won’t necessarily reflect in a new release date, but who knows if that will stick.
At the same time, the studio probably has the right to ask Reeves to keep working on the project as a director, coordinating several stages of early pre-production, from concept art to early costume and/or production designs. Remember that bringing in a production designer is one of the first things writers do when they start working on a project, so that they can conceptualize better their ideas. While the script isn’t finished yet, as far as we know, it’s hopefully in a good enough stage where they can move forward with other departments.
At the same time, this is where it also gets fuzzy for Reeves in his role as writer/director/producer. Where are those lines defined for him, and to what extent is he giving input to what the costumes should look like count as new writing? And who would be watching that? The truth is that work on the film should halt altogether, for The Batman 2 and for most major productions across the industry that haven’t finished filming yet, to send the studios the right message.
What do we know about The Batman 2 so far?
There is little known about where the sequel will go, mostly because Reeves hadn’t necessarily come up with the entire story by the time the first film was released. From all we know, he had a general idea of where the character of Bruce was supposed to go should he be given a trilogy, but not much more.
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Robert Pattinson will obviously be back as the Caped Crusader, and Zoë Kravitz is expected to return as well, as is Colin Farrell as The Penguin. Farrell was in production of Max’s spin-off series The Penguin up until a few weeks ago, when the strike forced them to halt principal photography. It’s said that the story of the show will act as a bridge between both theatrical films.
A report by Deadline also included an interesting detail — apparently, Reeves and Tomlin are including Clayface in the script for the sequel, though it’s unknown yet if he will be the main villain, à la The Riddler in the first film, or a secondary antagonist similar to The Penguin. It’s unknown if Barry Keoghan’s Joker will appear, or if he does, in what capacity. He was introduced in a quick scene in the first film, with an extended deleted scene being later released to the public where Batman asks Joker for advice on how to catch the Riddler.
The Batman 2 is currently targeting an October 3, 2025, release date. How do you think the writers’ strike will end up affecting the film? Do you think the release date will stick, or will they have to delay the entire thing? Who would you cast as Clayface in the sequel? Let us know on our social media, and stay tuned for more The Batman 2 news!
Source: Deadline, Midgard Times