It would be massively ironic, and also feel like more than a gentle slap in the face, if Warner Bros. were to find themselves constantly urging Zack Snyder to lighten the tone of his DCEU blockbusters during his time at the helm of the franchise, only to go and make the darkest one yet almost as soon as his fifteen-year association with the studio reached an end.
And yet, that’s exactly what could be happening, now that we’ve been informed by our sources – the same ones who told us Ben Affleck would be returning as the Caped Crusader in The Flash long before it was confirmed – that Matt Reeves’ The Batman is reportedly the grimmest live-action outing for the iconic superhero yet, making Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Tim Burton’s 1989 original and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight look like the Adam West TV series by comparison.
The most recent chatter swirling around the upcoming reboot has been all about the darkness, with various stories intimating that Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne will be explicitly depicted as suffering from mental health issues, and the tone is so relentlessly dour that some WB execs are rumored to be concerned about the movie’s mainstream appeal.
At the end of the day, though, we’re still talking about a big budget tentpole release that’s going to be rated PG-13 as far as we’re aware, so it’s clearly not going to be designed with the intention of alienating general audiences. That being said, Reeves is no stranger to relatively nihilistic franchise fare as his Dawn of and War for the Planet of the Apes have shown, and the boardroom must have known what they were letting themselves in for when they handed him the keys to The Batman.