Warner Brothers

The Trench creatures from Aquaman are getting their own movie

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If your favorite part of the Aquaman movie was the scene during which Arthur Curry and Mera navigate through a treacherous stretch of ocean populated by walking piranhas, this news is probably going to excite you.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers is developing an Aquaman spinoff involving The Trench, a region just outside of Atlantis inhabited by creatures that were cut off from the mythical city when it sank underwater. Having to survive outside Atlantis forced them to evolve into monsters that terrorized any life that traveled into the Marianas Trench territory.

Don’t get too excited about this being another Aquaman movie, however. As THR reports, this is intended to be a horror movie with a far smaller budget that won’t involve anyone from the original film. So no Aquaman, no Mera, not even Ocean Master or Vulko. That might prevent the story from going deep undersea to the Trench kingdom, as seen in the comic books too.

But horror is right in the wheelhouse of Aquaman director James Wan, who will be one of the producers on this project.

The concept of The Trench was introduced in the first issue of 2011’s rebooted Aquaman comic book, part of DC Comics’ “New 52” initiative. The creatures attack a coastal town seeking food, pushing them into conflict with Aquaman. The Trench and its inhabitants were also part of the 2012 Justice League “Throne of Atlantis” storyline, which was adapted into a 2015 animated film.

Relatively new screenwriters Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald will write the script. Both previously worked for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company. The two collaborated on the screenplay for a submarine thriller titled The Volos.

This leads to the natural question of when an Aquaman sequel will be announced. Having grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, we’ll definitely be getting another movie with the new King of Atlantis. For now, however, it looks like Wan, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard and crew (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Patrick Wilson will almost certainly be back as the bad guys) are reveling in their success.

New Batman movie scheduled for June 2021, won't involve Ben Affleck

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There are plenty of compelling Batman storylines that can be found these days in DC Comics. But one of the greatest mysteries currently involving the Dark Knight concerns the next time we’ll see him on the big screen.

This week, however, some details were finally revealed regarding Matt Reeves’s new Batman film. Reeves, best known for directing two of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, has been working on a script for the project and filming reportedly wasn’t going to begin until he and Warner Brothers believed they had it right.

Apparently, it’s just about there. WB announced on Wednesday (Jan. 30) that The Batman, which was supposedly the working title when Ben Affleck was writing and directing the film, is set for a June 25, 2021 release. (The studio also announced an Aug. 6, 2021 date for a Suicide Squad sequel, and TheWrap is reporting that James Gunn is set to direct.)

But Affleck won’t be playing Batman in this movie. According to Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro, Reeves’s story involves a younger Bruce Wayne, which means the role will be recast. Other outlets, such as Entertainment Tonight, have confirmed that Affleck isn’t wearing the cowl in this one.

Affleck gave his thumbs-up to the project on Twitter, and essentially confirmed the report by not denying that he won’t be returning to the Batman role.

Rumors of recasting Batman have been prevalent for nearly two years, ever since Reeves took over the project. Initially, The Batman was envisioned as an all-Affleck endeavor. He was set to write (with DC’s Geoff Johns), direct and star in the film. While that excited many fans, eager to see the director of Best Picture winner Argo (2012) helm a Batman movie, taking all of those roles on was surely over-ambitious. No one has ever tried to write, direct and be the lead actor of a blockbuster superhero movie before.

Affleck insisted that he and Johns needed to get the script right before production began. But for a variety of personal and professional reasons, he eventually stepped aside as director. Once Reeves was tapped as a replacement, he took over the script as well and set to rewrite it. Soon thereafter, rumors persisted that Affleck was done playing Batman. Whether that was because of the critical beating Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffered, the financial failure of Justice League, a growing disinterest in being chained to a franchise superhero role, or all of the above, it seemed like a matter of time before WB announced that a change would be made.

Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter that he has a “noir” detective-style story in mind for his depiction of the Caped Crusader. He also said here will be a Rogues Gallery,” which will open up plenty of guessing as to how many villains Batman will face. (Previous rumors have said that The Penguin will be the main bad guy.)

Until we learn more, the speculation will immediately begin as to who will play Batman next. It’ll be one of the hottest rumors in Hollywood. Let the fun begin. And remember the reaction when Affleck was cast as Batman? The next choice better be ready.