The Batman 2 is scheduled to be released on October 3, 2025; however, that date might be a bit presumptuous considering the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that dominated the entertainment industry in 2023. Much like other productions, the release date for the Matt Reeves-directed film, which will see Robert Pattinson return as the Dark Knight, could be pushed out to a later date. There’s also another alternative that no one is considering: It might be cancelled entirely.
There’s no disputing the world of DC is in shambles at Warner Bros. Discovery right now. The studio is in a massive state of flux as it tries to transition to James Gunn and Peter Safran’s vision for the future. It’s also no secret that the newly formed DC Studios’ intention is for everything to be unified and not have films, shows, and video games taking place in different universes. While no one might admit it outright, The Batman 2 is the product of a previous regime and DC Studios likely wants to get it out of the way to get to its plan. Don’t expect Gunn or Safran to fight too hard if WBD CEO David Zaslav decides to can it along the way.
Why Warner Bros. and DC Keep Making More Batman Movies
Have we learnt nothing from Batgirl?
In August 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery did the unthinkable: It cancelled Adil El and Arbi Bilall Fallah’s Batgirl film, which starred Leslie Grace, as it was in the post-production phase. The film had cost the studio $90 million, but the decision to pull the plug came down to tax-cutting measures, despite claims that Batgirl was “unwatchable” and would damage the brand. (After all, this comes from the same studio that decided to release The Flash with PlayStation 2 cutscene graphics.)
While The Batman 2 is likely to cost more than $90 million, let’s remember that the film hasn’t entered production yet, so it would be a lot cheaper to cancel it now before it goes in front of the cameras later. But what would be the purpose of doing this to a sequel to a film that made nearly $800 million worldwide in 2022, you may ask? The same answer as with Batgirl: Saving money and balancing the books.
WBD will be hurting after the strikes and the delays caused for productions, so the suits will start looking around at what can be removed from the schedules. While The Batman 2 is a sequel to a successful movie, Battinson isn’t part of the long-term plans for the DC Universe (DCU), so the focus will be on the next actor to play the Caped Crusader. In addition, with all the rumours that WBD is preparing itself for another merger, it will need to tidy up the books before the next buyer puts in an offer, so don’t be surprised to see many announced projects disappear.
This year hasn’t been kind to DC films as Shazam! Fury of the Gods, The Flash and Blue Beetle flopped at the box office in concerning fashion. While none of these films could be considered all-time greats, they are far from terrible. In fact, in previous years, they would have pulled in a respectable haul. What’s evident is fans have lost faith in DC and aren’t wasting their cash at the theatres anymore; not even the allure of Michael Keaton’s Batman could bring the crowds, for heaven’s sake!
Yet, there’s one more major problem on the horizon: Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. If this film fails to bring in the money, it will only compound further misery on the DC brand. For all intents and purposes, it looks the most likely to fail of the lot since it’s a complete cul-de-sac in terms of storytelling and it has been ravaged with tales about behind-the-scenes problems.
Let’s say the Aquaman sequel fails for a minute. What message does that send to a bunch of out-of-touch studio executives who love the smell of money more than their firstborn children? It says that comic book movies are on the decline, and they best cancel anything that doesn’t fall within the gamut of DC Studios’ vision. This means The Batman 2. Until the film actually hits theatres, no one can be certain it will ever see the light of day.