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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.

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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Universal has two new projects from M. Night Shyamalan coming our way in 2021 and 2023

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M. Night Shyamalan
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M. Night Shyamalan and Universal Pictures seem to be getting along pretty nicely with each other as the studio announced yesterday that it will be continuing its relationship with the director and has dated his next two films from February 26, 2021 and February 17, 2023.

“M. Night Shyamalan continues to create exciting, highly original stories that keep global audiences on the edge of their seats,” said Universal Pictures president Peter Cramer. “There is no one like him: he is a master filmmaker working at the height of his powers, and we are honored that he has once again chosen Universal to be the home for his next two incredible projects.”

Shyamalan added, “There are wonderful studios out there, but Universal has made it a mandate to release original films. They are the best at finding an audience for new stories with unexpected tones. I believe original films are crucial to the longevity of the theatrical experience.”

While any and all details about these two films — with the exception of the release dates, of course — are being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, we can’t help but think Shyamalan will be pulling another Split-type secret sequel stunt and has something pretty exciting in store for us, though that’s just pure speculation on our part.

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Matt Damon and Christian Bale attempt to pull off the impossible in this new ‘Ford v Ferrari’ trailer

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Ford v Ferrari
20TH CENTURY FOX

Fresh off its stops at festivals like Telluride and Toronto, 20th Century Fox has released a brand new trailer for James Mangold’s Ford v Ferrari and it looks like this thing is shaping up to be one of hell a contender this awards season.

Ford v Ferrari tells “the remarkable true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale),” who, believe it or not, does not seem to have undergone any drastic transformations for his role here.

Together, the duo “battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.”

At press time, Ford v Ferrari boasts an impressive 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 43 reviews, and something tells me that percentage isn’t going to change too much over the next couple of months. I mean, even the “negative” reviews aren’t even that negative!

Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon also star in Ford v Ferrari, which hits theaters on November 15.

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Phoenix: Put on a happy face and come see Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Joker’ early and for free

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Joker
WARNER BROS.

Warner Bros. will release Joker, Todd Phillips’ take on the iconic DC villain’s origin starring Joaquin Phoenix, on September 6 and they’re giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.

Our readers in the Phoenix area can click on this link to enter to win passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Joker happening Tuesday, October 1 at Harkins Arizona Mills IMAX at 7:00 p.m.

Winners of this contest will be selected and notified on Saturday, September 29 after 12:00 p.m. PT via email, so good luck! Below is the official trailer for Joker as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Todd Phillips

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Zazie Beetz

Opens: Friday, October 4

Rating: R for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material

Synopsis: Director Todd Phillips Joker centers around the iconic arch nemesis and is an original, standalone fictional story not seen before on the big screen. Phillips’ exploration of Arthur Fleck, who is indelibly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, is of a man struggling to find his way in Gotham’s fractured society. A clown-for-hire by day, he aspires to be a stand-up comic at night…but finds the joke always seems to be on him. Caught in a cyclical existence between apathy and cruelty, Arthur makes one bad decision that brings about a chain reaction of escalating events in this gritty character study.

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