‘Batman’ Project Dead, Canceled at DC Studios: Report

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Michael Keaton as Batman, looking at the Bat Signal from 'Batman' (1989)

Credit: DC / Warner Bros.

The DC Studios reshuffle has claimed another victim, and this time, it’s headed for the Batman Universe.

Robert Pattinson's Batman in The Batman
Credit: DC Studios

At the end of last year, it was announced that film director James Gunn and Warner Bros. and producer Peter Safran teamed up as co-Chief Executive Officers of DC Studios.

After struggling through the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and its alternately known SnyderVerse (the Zack Snyder-directed trilogy including Man of Steel (2013), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) starring Ben Affleck as the caped crusader, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)), DC Studios is now moving forward with a rebooted franchise known simply as the DC Universe, or DCU.

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel DCU
Credit: DC Studios

In the summer of 2022, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav famously trashed the almost-completed Batgirl movie starring Leslie Grace as the titular DC hero and Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman. This wave paved the way for Gunn and Safran’s new role as co-CEOs and the eventual reboot that was announced in January this year.

Gunn revealed that the first part of the new DCU will be called “Chapter 1 — Gods and Monsters.” The franchise will be entirely cohesive, with the same actors playing their respective roles across live-action, animation, and even gaming.

James Gunn walking with the Suicide Squad
Credit: Warner Bros.

As part of this first wave of content, Gunn announced the likes of Superman: Legacy (2025), The Authority (TBD), The Brave and the Bold (TBD), Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (TBD), and Swamp Thing (TBD) for the movie slate. The DC television entries include Creature Commandos, Waller, Lanterns, Paradise Lost, and Booster Gold.

The first movie to commence the new franchise will be Gunn’s own Superman reboot, Super-Man: Legacy. For this, Henry Cavill, the tenured Superman in the DCEU, will not return; instead, the role of Clark Kent/Kal-El, AKA Superman, will be taken on by David Corenswet. Corenswet is joined by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan as Lois Lane.

Ezra Miller suited up as 'The Flash' in the new 'The Flash' DC movie
Credit: Warner Bros.

When it was revealed that Cavill had been removed from the DC franchise after only recently returning as the Man of Steel in Black Adam (2022) alongside Dwayne Johnson, it shocked many. Anticipation is high for Gunn and Safran’s new outing into the world of DC Comics, even if the promised greatest superhero movie ever made, The Flash (2023), dramatically bombed at the box office this summer.

So with The Flash seemingly out, Cavill and Johnson definitely out, and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman up in the air, the reshuffle over at DC Studios has been robust and ongoing. And now it seems that another project has bit the dust.

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam
Credit: DC Studios

Related: DC’s Choice of Robin for Upcoming ‘Batman’ Reboot Questioned by Fans

According to Umberto Gonzalez of The Wrap (via CBR), the Nightwing Batman spinoff movie is dead at the studio. Replying to a post on X (formerly Twitter), Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) said the project was done.

that project is dead

Nightwing has been in development for years and years, and even as recently as 2021, Chris McKay — who was tapped to direct — spoke about its potential.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s not lost yet. It is obviously something that… they’ve had other priorities, they’ve had other challenges,” the director told CinemaBlend back in 2021. “They’d had things that they needed to do, and I think that they found their way, with their recent successes and the stuff that they are planning on doing now. I think it opens the door for us to still be able to do a Nightwing movie.”

Brenton Thwaites as Nightwing in 'Titans'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Christopher Nolan Won’t Be Directing ‘The Dark Knight Part 4’

Unfortunately, it would seem that the movie focusing on Dick Grayson and his Nightwing alter ego is no more at DC Studios, as the franchise focuses on its already jam-packed slate. The character has had a life outside of feature films, with Brenton Thwaites playing Dick Grayson/Robin/Nightwing in the Titans TV series.

Of course, there is still more Batman to come for fans of the Dark Knight. The DCU’s The Brave and the Bold will adapt the iconic DC Comics run of the same name and will introduce Damian Wayne as the DCU’s Robin. While in the DC Elseworlds arena (the non-DCU canon movies), Matt Reeves’ The Batman (2022) is set to launch a shared Batman universe outside of the DCU.

Robert Pattinson as Batman
Credit: DC Studios

Robert Pattinson made a splashy entrance as Bruce Wayne last year in The Batman, with the movie spawning two sequels and three television shows. One is The Penguin series starring Colin Farrell, which will release on Max (formerly HBO Max), and the other two are based on Arkham Asylum and the Gotham City Police Department. The latter is said to be a police procedural-style series.

Elsewhere, there is also the Joker (2019) sequel, Joker: Folie à Deux (2024), which sees Joaquin Phoenix return to his role as Arthur Fleck/Joker in the Todd Phillips-directed movie. Phoenix will be joined by Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn.

And if you’d rather not get involved in this new wave of Batman stories, then there’s always Christopher Nolan’s beloved trilogy, Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and The Dark Knight Rises (2012), starring Christian Bale to go back to…

What do you think of this Nightwing news? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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