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Warner Bros. Discovery Hasn't Greenlit 'The Batman' Sequel As Their WTF Strategy For DC Films' Future Continues

Mike Marsland. Getty Images.

[Variety]

"As it stands, only one new DC feature project currently has a greenlight post-merger: 'Joker: Folie à Deux,' which is scheduled to hit theaters in 2024. The follow-up to the wildly successful 2019 “Joker,” which grossed $1.07 billion globally, comes with a much bigger price tag than the first. Both Joaquin Phoenix and director Todd Phillips are believed to be getting $20 million paydays, and new costar Lady Gaga is getting $10 million. Those salaries, combined with the cost of producing complicated musical sequences (though one insider stresses 'Joker 2' is more like 'A Star Is Born' than 'In the Heights'), means that the sequel will cost roughly $150 million to produce.

"That’s still cheaper than most superhero movies, which often cost upwards of $200 million — like 'The Batman,' for example, which earned a solid $770 million globally in a pandemic environment. Writer-director Matt Reeves is on track for a sequel with star Robert Pattinson, but the project remains in development and does not yet have a greenlight — any future film is years away."

Giphy Images.

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Greenlighted, green-lighted, greenlit, green-lit…however you wanna spell it or say it, here's yet another, shall we say, perplexing decision here in the Warner Bros. Discovery era on their handling of invaluable DC superhero characters.

Obviously a lot of this inside information had to come from sources within Warner Bros., so the fact that they could just let this get out that another Battinson movie has even a chance of not moving forward must mean there's some validity to it. Even after a follow-up was announced at CinemaCon.

I want the best for DC Films, which I believe, and many other reasonable fans would believe, is to let Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinson continue to cook and build out their Batverse. If other DC superheroes happen to cross over at some point, so be it, but let it be organic. The whole reason the DC Extended Universe doesn't work at all right now is because every decision by Warner Bros. was reactionary, whether it be to initial critical reaction, or a desire to replicate Marvel's unprecedented success.

Good to hear that the next Joker movie is still on track. Weird that a raging critical and commercial hit like The Batman isn't as enthusiastically received by the new regime. There are so many different directions Reeves and Pattinson can go with a sequel. They at least deserve a shot at one follow-up movie. Pattinson crushed it as the best World's Greatest Detective Caped Crusader we've ever gotten by far. Jeffrey Wright's Jim Gordon, Zoe Kravitz's Selina Kyle/Catwoman, and Paul Dano's Riddler were all standouts. This is a killer cast still in place, with an auteur filmmaker in Reeves offering a strong, grounded noir-driven take on Warner Bros.' most important fictional character.

The controversy surrounding Ezra Miller and The Flash is throwing a massive wrench into whatever Kevin Feige type of plan DC Films is cooking up. We have no idea how that's going to play out, or what will come of that $200 million tentpole that's meant to release in June. 

What we do know is, The Batman is an excellent movie, and that the brief appearance by Colin Farrell's Penguin created enough buzz for his own HBO Max spin-off show.

It's still very early in this massive transition amid a complex corporate merger with innumerable moving parts and variables. There is time to course correct, or simply say "YES" to The Batman 2 or whatever the title shall be. Watching Pattinson do so well as Batman and carry a three-hour film whose production was slammed with COVID-related delays, with so much room to still grow as the Bruce Wayne character, makes me feel like it'd be such a waste to have him be a one-and-done Bat like Val Kilmer and George Clooney were back in the 90s. Fuck that. Battinson is the man.

Let Matt Reeves COOK!

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald