Warner Bros.’ solo superhero movie The Batman and antihero sequel The Suicide Squad are officially on the calendar.
In an announcement of release dates Wednesday, the studio revealed that the former film, directed and produced by Matt Reeves, is slated to arrive June 25, 2021, with the latter following Aug. 6, 2021.
The Batman has been in the works for several years and was originally to star Ben Affleck, who would also direct and co-write. (He first donned the cape and cowl in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.) However, Affleck stepped down as director in 2017, and amid the uneven success of Warner Bros.’ interconnected universe of DC superhero movies, rumors swirled that he would not return to star in The Batman.
On Wednesday, Affleck tweeted that he was “excited for #TheBatman in Summer 2021,” and to see Reeves’ “vision come to life.” His tweet included a link to a Deadline Hollywood story indicating that he would “pass the torch” to a new actor. A Warner Bros. spokesperson did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment about the status of Affleck’s involvement.
The Suicide Squad, meanwhile, marks the follow-up to the 2016 film Suicide Squad, about a team of supervillains compelled to take on a dangerous black-ops mission in exchange for reduced sentences. Though the first film earned $746.8 million at the worldwide box office, it underwhelmed film critics and fans. EW reported last October that Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn closed a deal to write the Suicide Squad sequel and possibly direct; The Hollywood Reporter reports that Gunn is currently in talks to helm the movie.
Warner Bros. also said Wednesday that its new take on Roald Dahl’s The Witches, starring Anne Hathaway and directed by Robert Zemeckis, will hit theaters Oct. 16, 2020, and that its untitled event film on May 21, 2021, is now titled DC Super Pets.
And the studio’s The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep (based on the Stephen King book), has moved up to Nov. 8, 2019, from Jan. 24, 2020. Ewan McGregor and Rebecca Ferguson will star.