Matt Reeves to reboot 'Batman' without Ben Affleck - Silver Screen Beat
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Ben Affleck’s future in the DCEU in limbo as new report reveals Matt Reeves’ plan for Batman

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Affleck Batman
WARNER BROS.

Rumors have been swirling around for more than a year now that Ben Affleck is looking to step away from his role as Batman in the DC Extended Universe once and for all after starring in just two movies, including 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and last year’s Justice League, the latter grossing just $229 million in its entire domestic run.

Buried deep within Deadline’s report about Geoff Johns stepping down DC’s chief creative officer yesterday is the mention of Matt Reeves and his plans to reboot Batman for what is being described as a “new standalone franchise,” which will likely feature a new actor in the role of the iconic DC superhero.

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Affleck was previously attached to direct the standalone Batman movie but later stepped away from the project last January after it became clear that he could not “do both jobs to the level they require,” meaning handling both directorial and lead actor duties. Warner Bros. also decided to scrap Affleck’s script, which he had co-written with Johns and Chris Terrio.

In an interview last December, Affleck didn’t seem so sure about his future in the DC Extended Universe himself after being asked if he planned on coming back for another movie as Batman or if he would rather prefer to focus his attention on other projects outside the superhero realm.

“I think a lot of different possibilities I think for the way the DC Universe could go, and I will just follow my interests in pursuing that,” Affleck told the Daily Sabah. “And I know that I love working with this group of people, and it was a real joy for me to make [Justice League],” adding that he always evaluates “this stuff on the merit of the material.”

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‘Incredibles 2’ opens with a record-breaking $18.5 million from Thursday night previews

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Incredibles
DISNEY/PIXAR

Disney and Pixar’s Incredibles 2 is off to an excellent start at the domestic box office as the long-awaited animated sequel leaped into theaters with a record-breaking $18.5 million on Thursday night, making it the biggest preview ever for an animated film.

The record was previously held by Finding Dory, which earned $9.2 million from Thursday previews in 2016. However, Dory still holds the record for best opening weekend ever for an animated film with $135 million—whether Incredibles 2 can break that record as well is still to be determined, but it’s chance look promising.

Incredibles 2 launches in 4,410 theaters across the U.S. starting today and, according to estimates from box office analysts, could gross anywhere between $125 million and $140 by Sunday.

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Still, the preview is an impressive feat for Incredibles 2, beating out Beauty and the Beast ($16.3 million), Spider-Man: Homecoming ($15.4 million), and Thor: Ragnarok ($14.5 million), while almost matching the $18.6 million preview number Deadpool 2 earned just mere weeks ago.

Incredibles 2 picks up just after the events of the 2005 original and finds the Parr family back again, but Helen (Holly Hunter) is off on important crime-fighting business, leaving Bob (Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of parenting life.

Brad Bird returned to write and direct the sequel, which also stars Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Jonathan Banks, Sophia Bush, Isabella Rossellini, and Samuel L. Jackson.

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‘Aquaman’ first look reveals Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta

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Aquaman
WARNER BROS.

This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly offers our first look at Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta in James Wan’s highly anticipated Aquaman, which is due out in theaters this winter. The EW cover photo also features Jason Momoa as the titular superhero and Amber Heard as Mera.

While specific plot details are being kept tightly under wraps by the studio, the EW cover story features an interview with Wan where he teases what’s to come in the next installment in the DC Extended Universe, which, according to a new report, is currently undergoing some big changes behind the scenes amid a recent shakeup of DC’s top executives.

“The water world my movie takes place in is so separate and so far apart from previous DC movies it’s like I’m making my own sci-fi fantasy film,” the director said, adding that Aquaman will be “a whole new underwater world nobody has seen before in live action.”

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The cover story also details the “great white sharks, giant octopi, seven different underwater kingdoms, trench-dwelling cannibals, and even sea dragons” that are present throughout the film, which will find Aquaman going head to head with his archnemesis, Black Manta, and half-brother, Ocean Master (Patrick Wilson).

Written by Will Beall, Aquaman also stars Dolph Lundgren as Nereus, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, and Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, and will hit theaters on December 21. You can check out the EW cover photos below.

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‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ tracking a solid $75 million opening weekend at domestic box office

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Ant-Man and the Wasp
MARVEL STUDIOS

Ant-Man and the Wasp is looking to outgross its predecessor when it debuts next month as the upcoming Marvel Studios sequel is heading toward a solid $75 million opening weekend over the July 6-8 weekend, further proving the fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is showing no sign of losing momentum due to so-called “superhero fatigue.”

If these early figures are correct, this would put the sequel roughly 30% higher than Ant-Man‘s $57 million opening weekend total in 2015. The original went on to earn more than $180 million at the domestic box office and $339 million overseas, bringing its worldwide haul to a whopping $519 million.

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The latest Marvel adventure, which takes place in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War but before the events of Avengers: Infinity War, follows Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) as he grapples with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. However, when Scott is confronted by Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) with an urgent new mission, they must work together to uncover secrets from their past.

Ant-Man and the Wasp also stars Michael Pena, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, and Michelle Pfeiffer, who joins the cast Hope’s mother and the original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, who Marvel revealed for the first time in a set of a character posters released for the film earlier this month.

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