During an exclusive interview with Collider’s Steven Weintraub for the 15th anniversary of Cloverfield, The Batman director Matt Reeves revealed he’ll soon have a meeting with new co-heads of DC Studios James Gunn and Peter Safran. However, as Reeves tells us, fans shouldn’t be afraid, as his BatVerse will keep being developed parallel with the new DC Universe.
Last year, Reeves brought a revolutionary version of Gotham City to theaters with The Batman, a beautifully-crafted detective story that focuses on the emotional growth of Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson). The movie was a box office hit, especially considering theatres were still suffering the effects of the pandemic. So, of course, Warner Bros. asked Reeves to start working on a sequel and spinoff miniseries.
A few months after The Batman’s release, the Warner Bros. Discovery merge shook the DC Universe to its core, as the company decided to revamp its superhero cinematic universe. Amidst the content cuts, Reeves signed a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Discovery that supposedly kept his BatVerse safe. However, once Gunn and Safran were hired to make tough calls in the name of a unified story, we all feared Reeves’ vision for the Dark Knight wouldn’t fit in DC Studios' 10-year plan for films, TV shows, and even video games.
We were relieved when Reeves confirmed this week that he’s still working on The Batman sequel. The filmmaker also intends to expand his BatVerse with The Penguin, a series starring Colin Farrell that’s going into production this year. That doesn’t mean Reeves has free rein over his BatVerse, though—he still needs to sit down with Gunn and Safran to lay out his long-term plan. As Reeves tells us:
“They [Gunn and Safran] have been great. [...] We're actually supposed to meet in the next few weeks because they want to talk to me about the broad plan, and then they want to hear the BatVerse plan. We're just getting together to talk about all of that. Look, I'm excited to hear what they're going to do. The BatVerse thing, as James has said, and as Peter has said, is kind of its own thing they're letting us do.”
Will DC Studios Use the Elseworld Approach for the BatVerse?
Gunn and Safran's first order of business as co-heads of DC Studios was to unify every production into a single coherent storyline. That’s why they’ve already made controversial decisions like scrapping Wonder Woman 3 and dismissing Henry Cavill’s Superman. So, it is exciting to learn that Reeves will be able to keep building his BatVerse disconnected from the larger DC Universe.
It seems like Gunn and Safran could be adopting DC Comics' “Elseworlds” strategy by letting writers create stories set in different timelines, as long as they don’t clash with the main canon narrative. As Reeves tells us, the upcoming meeting has as a main goal to explore his BatVerse, Gunn and Safran’s 10-year plan, and determine if there are any competing stories. In the director’s words:
“I had this dream for the way I wanted that to play out and that's part of what I'm going to be talking to them about in a few weeks. They're going to be talking to me about what they're doing in their ten-year plan or certainly what's in the near future as well so that we can understand that we're not—it's air traffic control—we don't want to be crashing into each other. We want to support each other. I'm super excited. I'm really excited to hear about what they're doing and to be working with them. It's going to be cool.”
The gorgeous new limited-edition Cloverfield 4K Ultra HD SteelBook arrives on January 17, 2023. There’s no release window for The Batman sequel nor The Penguin series. For now, check out our interview with Reeves from before The Batman was released in theaters.