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James Gunn Sets The Record Straight On Matt Reeves' Batman And His DC Studio Plans

Yet another "well-sourced" rumor has emerged about James Gunn and Peter Safran's new DC Universe, proving nothing but the uneasy feeling that this whirlwind of gossip will be the norm for next several months.

Stemming from a massive exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter, leaked information has alleged all manner of interior controversies that paint the studio as at best dysfunctional and at worst debilitatingly hindered by large, petty personalities. For his part, Gunn has cautioned that some rumors are either inaccurate or premature, urging his fans and detractors alike to wait and see before rushing to judgements. This statement seems to be mostly in response to speculation about the continuity of his future films, and whether or not they'll erase all previous DC continuity. 

Admittedly, some rumors have been verified — The Hollywood Reporter relayed that Patty Jenkins' third "Wonder Woman" film was to be shelved, a report which the director confirmed in part via her Twitter (though her version of events disputes the one currently circulating online, and Gunn corroborated that all their interactions had been "pleasant and professional"). On the other hand, just this morning a new report from Variety (again, citing an well-placed anonymous source) alleged that Gunn and Safran's DC Universe was to sprawl out of Matt Reeves' "The Batman" franchise — and it only took Gunn a matter of hours to unequivocally debunk the report. 

As to how this happened and what it means for the future of the DC Universe, there are a few fascinating theories and implications. 

Every universe starts with a Robert, right? Or maybe not

Early this morning, Variety originally reported (via their anonymous sources) that James Gunn and Peter Safran were allegedly considering making Matt Reeves' "The Batman" a part of their formal DC Cinematic Universe, despite its original status as a standalone feature. If true (and, spoiler alert, it's not), that would essentially turn "The Batman" into the cornerstone of the Gunn-Safran era of DC Films, in the same way "Iron Man" was for the burgeoning Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In fairness, it isn't hard to theorize why the two filmmakers would potentially consider this course of action, or why Variety's Adam B. Vary (the reporter who broke the story) would see such a leak as potentially viable. Aside from the fact that the story barely compares to the slew of baffling, yet-to-be debunked rumors coming out of the embattled studio, "The Batman" performed incredibly well both critically and commercially. It's also already due one spin-off series (Colin Farrell's "The Penguin" over at HBO Max) and a sequel. In other words, if they aren't going to include "The Batman" projects in the future of their DC Universe, what exactly are they going to do with them?

As such, Vary's report is still revealing in regard to what it caused Gunn himself to disclose about the future of the studio's most successful current franchise.

Wait, so what's happening with The Batman?

On Twitter, James Gunn threw himself into the mix yet again to dispel what he called an "entirely untrue" rumor. His brief statement read, in full, "There are few reporters I love more than [Adam B. Vary] — truly a good guy — but in this case he needs to get a new source as this is entirely untrue."

That phrase — "entirely untrue" — is so strong in its wording, it once again begs the question of what is to actually become of Matt Reeves' "Batman" projects. While certain other DC stars seem to be trying to muscle their way into the future of DC Films (again, based on leaks, rumors, and the allegations of anonymous sources), Reeves was announced to be working on a "The Batman" sequel in a very official capacity, revealing the news in front of an audience at Warner Bros.' CinemaCon panel in April 2022 (via Deadline). For a sequel to "The Batman" to not be moving forward would be a bit surprising, but not more surprising than the studio keeping "The Batman" and/or the Batman character, as a whole, separate from their attempt at an interconnected universe ... or, even worse, that they would once again try to run multiple Batmen at the same time. The Hollywood Reporter's sources claimed Reeves' franchise was safe, but — to be incredibly blunt — what does that even mean anymore?

All this being said, we may just need to take a bit of a breath here. Or, even better, several, very large breaths.

Get comfortable with discomfort, folks

From all the disparate and nigh-irreconcilable DC news that's been released in recent days, two things seem evident. The first of these is that — as James Gunn said himself and as is apparent in this very story — not everything being leaked to the press is true. Just yesterday there was one leak that said another leak was leaked under false pretenses and without accurate information (see our coverage of the evolving Dwayne Johnson-"Black Adam" situation). Suffice it to say, we can't always take these leaks at face value, particularly with a situation that's still being kept so tightly under wraps by Gunn and Peter Safran.

The second factor to take into account is that the duo are likely considering all of their options. They were just given the keys to the kingdom, so it's unlikely much — if anything — is set in stone right now. Perhaps Reeves and Robert Pattinson will become the center of the DC Universe somewhere down the line. Perhaps Henry Cavill and Dwayne Johnson will. Perhaps Gunn is gearing up to bring Zack Snyder back just to kill his universe off a third time. As Gunn has said before, no one but he and Safran know for sure what the plan is — so fans might need to get comfortable just "waiting and seeing" for the foreseeable future.