After the major shake-ups with the DC Extended Universe this month, a sequel to The Batman seemed like it would be a safe bet. But apparently, this is not the case, with the sequel still in the pre-development stage and not having received the official nod to proceed. With how present Warner Bros. Discovery upper management is not shy to halt productions that are nearly complete as part of overhauling the brand, fans are rightly worried.
Read on for more of the details available so far about the future of The Batman sequel.
Wasn’t a sequel already announced?
The news that The Batman sequel’s future being uncertain may come as a surprise. After all, it was announced as part of the CinemaCon last April during the Warner Bros. panel that The Batman 2 would be one of the major films being developed.
However, it should be pointed out that the announcement was made by Toby Emmerich. At the time, Emmerich was still the Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman. And while Matt Reeves was also on hand at the time to confirm that plans were in motion to develop the follow-up to The Batman with Robert Pattinson returning, things have changed since then.
Emmerich is stepping down as the Warner Bros. Pictures chief and, while he will still have producer duties for any remaining films already in the middle of production, The Batman sequel is not one of them.
'The Batman 2' is reportedly not greenlit yet
— Culture Crave 🍿 (@CultureCrave) August 11, 2022
In the recent Variety article that examines the current status of DC Comics properties in live action projects, The Batman sequel is mentioned as in development. Moreover, the report confirms that it has not received an official greenlight from the new Warner Bros. Discovery management.
In the context of a Hollywood production, this means that The Batman sequel has not received a commitment for financing. This is why a film in development stages is nowhere near guaranteed. Without being officially greenlit yet, the film cannot move forward as of this time to the pre-production stage (which would include finalizing the plot and script, concept art, location scouting, etc.).
Is The Batman sequel in danger of being cancelled?
Despite The Batman receiving generally positive reviews and taking in upwards of $770 million for its global box office, the fact that a sequel has not been officially greenlit can be concerning. This is in light of the fact that the current Warner Bros. Discovery upper management is making unprecedented decisions in delaying or cancelling projects that are nearly finished.
The HBO Max film Batgirl starring Leslie Grace was the biggest fatality in Warner Bros. Discovery’s mandate of focusing on quality over quantity. However, it is not the only one. The sequel to the successful animated feature Scoob! was also placed on the chopping block. Both of these productions were already in the finishing stages and were fully expected to be released before they were axed.
Plus, they are not the only ones that have been delayed or removed off the slate. Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and The Flash have had their release dates moved farther than originally intended. Meanwhile, projects like Black Canary and Blue Beetle are moving forward, while others such as The Wonder Twins and Strange Adventures which were already in the pre-production stages have been scrapped.
While this does not necessarily mean that The Batman sequel will come to the same fate, it does give a precedent for fans to be concerned. Thus far, the only officially greenlit project that involves DC Comics properties is the sequel to The Joker.
Titled Joker: Folie à Deux, it will have Joaquin Phoenix returning to the role and Todd Phillips directing once again. Lady Gaga has been confirmed to be joining the film as their version of Harley Quinn in an apparent musical take on the source material. And it has been greenlit with a projected $150 million budget.
‘JOKER 2’ will have a $150M budget.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) August 11, 2022
And while The Batman sequel has not been greenlit, Warner Bros. Discovery head David Zaslav pointed out the success of recent films like The Batman and Elvis as examples of what they envision for theatrical productions in the future. So it may just be a matter of time before The Batman sequel gets the green light. Meanwhile, Matt Reeves is still working on The Penguin spinoff for HBO Max.
The Batman is currently available on the HBO Max streaming service.