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The Batman Reportedly Eyeing November 2019 Filming Start Date

Could The Batman really take flight later this year?

According to a recent newsletter issued by The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision, the likelihood of that happening is fairly high. 

Nestled within the newsletter, in which THR's Aaron Couch, Borys Kit, and Graeme McMillan discuss the biggest mysteries and hottest-burning questions in the entertainment world in 2019, comes the scoop that Warner Bros. and DC Films are eyeing a November 2019 filming start date for The Batman

When Couch inquired about who might lead The Batman — noting that it "presumably" won't be standing Batman star Ben Affleck, whose connection to the DC Extended Universe and relationship with the Caped Crusader has been up in the air for months now — Kit dished that writer-director Matt Reeves has "basically" finished the script and that he's heard from anonymous sources that "the studio wants to start shooting in November." He added that an official casting announcement for the lead role in The Batman should come sometime between now and then. 

Previous reports have claimed that The Batman would get behind cameras earlier than this November. In late September 2018, The Wrap film reporter and Heroic Hollywood founder Umberto Gonzalez relayed that Warner Bros. had its proverbial fingers crossed for a summer start, but was (and apparently remains) extremely focused on ensuring the project is as perfect as possible before kicking off production. 

"LIL BATMAN UPDATE: The studio loves Matt Reeves' first draft of his BATMAN script, he is currently doing revisions & the film is being eyed for a hopeful summer 2019 production start," Gonzalez tweeted at the time. "Of note, the current DC regime is committed to getting this take on the Caped Crusader correct!" 

Prior to that, Production Weekly (via Pursue News) suggested that The Batman would see lift-off in early 2019. 

If Warner Bros. genuinely does want to get The Batman off the ground before the end of this year, it would finally bring an end to the back-and-forth speculation, contradictory remarks, and general confusion surrounding the project. At various points in the past, Affleck was directing and then wasn't directing, was starring and then maybe wasn't starring — then was "contemplating" it, was definitely not doing it, and was possibly leading the pic. Now, it's largely unclear where he stands in terms top-lining The Batman like he was originally mean to.

A late 2017 rumor had it that Jake Gyllenhaal, who will dip his toes into comic book movie waters playing Mysterio in this year's Spider-Man: Far From Home, would pick up the cape and cowl to play Batman in Affleck's stead. However, the actor shut down that idea in April 2018. Asked in an interview with CNA Lifestyle whether he would replace Affleck as the famous DC hero, Gyllenhaal responded, "Wow, that's a very difficult question. The answer to that question is 'no.'" 

Of course, things may have changed since then and Gyllenhaal could actually be in the running for The Batman, but he may have competition in another dashing Hollywood dude: Mad Men's Jon Hamm. RadarOnline.com previously claimed that Hamm was, as of late 2017, "gunning hard for the role." 

"Jon knows Ben has faced some criticism over Batman v Superman and Justice League, and frankly thinks he'd be better suited for the job. This is business for Jon — not personal ... the writing's on the wall, and Jon's desperate for the gig — friend or not," claimed a source close to the outlet. "Matt [Reeves] thinks Jon is charming and was a big fan of Mad Men, so it seems like a great transition to him ... Jake Gyllenhaal has also been chasing the role, and Matt has definitely been considering him. But Jon is closer to Ben's age and look, and will be a smoother replacement to fit into the plans already in place."

Anything in the way of casting is just talk at this point, but the chatter surrounding a November 2019 production start date for the flick seems plausible. After all, Reeves did complete the first draft of The Batman's script in September 2018, and was apparently due to hand Warner Bros. the final version before the end of 2018. We're almost a week into 2019 as of this writing, so if the talk around town is to be believed, the studio has Reeves' final script in hand and is probably making judgement calls on it as you read this. The next logical step after the script review is to decide who will fill the lead role, then get the dang thing going already. 

After witnessing The Batman hit bump after blockage on the road to development, we're remaining hopeful that this report proves true, and that the film really will begin principal photography in November. In the meantime, DC fans can look forward to catching Shazam! on April 5 and Joker, the Joaquin Phoenix-led origin story standalone, on October 4.