Editorial: What’s Going On With The Batman?

Batman Meets His Worst Nemesis: The Internet

Ah, the Internet. It brings us instantaneous information about our favorite films in real time. However, people seem to be very slow when it comes to confirming the information. The latest case study of this comes courtesy of the DC Extended Universe and its The Batman project. In an interview, director Matt Reeves seemingly implied that The Batman would be separate from the DCEU:

“Well I have a vision for a way to do something with that character [Batman] that feels like it resonates with me personally, and a perspective that can grow out into other things. When they [Warner Bros.] approached me, what they said was ‘look, it’s a standalone, it’s not part of the extended universe.’”

The Internet caught on fire! And as things usually are with DCEU films and Ben Affleck’s Batman, the bashing and mocking began. Some even claimed it meant the role of Batman would be recast.

This, of course, turned out to be a load of dingo kidneys. A bunch of nothing. Humbug. Literal fake news!

Rumors Drive Us Bats

That brings us to Thursday where Reeves took to Twitter to clarify things and put things to rest.

Justice League - BatmanHowever, this continues a long standing issue with comic book media. Two issues in fact. The first is the fact that several sites on the internet don’t bother to follow up or fact check. This leads to the spread of misinformation and downright lies, thus causing people to then run like crazy to put out fires. The fact that numerous sites don’t even bother to issue corrections, or do so grudgingly, is mind-boggling. We are sources of information, we should be truthful to our readers. The fact Reeves had to issue this statement at all is aggravating. While it is good that he did, he shouldn’t have had to. And this doesn’t go just for comic sites, it goes for all news sites (looking at you, Fox “News”).

This also brings us to the second problem.

DC Bashing For LOLs And Profit

I know I have addressed this issue in the past, but it needs to be repeated. As of right now, bashing and mocking DC Comics films is popular on the Internet. Ever since Ben Affleck was announced as Batman, people have been slinging mud at DC. There are myriad reasons for this ranging from old fashioned trolling to disappointed fans, to Marvel maniacs. However, in this age of “lack of fact check”, these rumors add fuel to the bashing fires. This is not a good thing, it’s arguably unethical to let these rumors run rampant.

To make matters worse, these rumors are VERY lucrative for sites, who like us need material to bring an audience. Problem is that while Word of the Nerd prides itself on following journalistic ethics, other sites are far more unscrupulous. These sites will post these rumors, without clarification or retraction, and let the bashers eat it up. Heck, even the Hollywood Reporter bitterly retracted only PART of their article on this story. A Bigger audience means more ad revenue, so spreading lies about DC films means money.

This is shameful, this is wrong.

A Call To Ethics

Matt Reeves Batman
Matt Reeves

Look, guys and gals, the solution isn’t that hard. Try to follow up with the people who made the statement. Dig around for more information. Fact check yourselves. Don’t spread rumors and statements without context because when you do, you hurt the integrity of journalism. In this day and age where our fellow journalists are being basely smeared as “fake news”, we should try to hold ourselves to a higher ethical conduct. This especially goes to reporting on DC Comics films, since rumors and smears tend to run rampant around these projects.

Reeves was right to address the concerns, but the fact he had to do it in the face of rumors and smears is irritating. We need to be better, as journalists and as fans.

Especially in light of the latest round of rumors. Joker by Scorcese? Joker Loves Harley movie? Ben Affleck replaced? Give the rumors a rest, be journalists, and do the actual work!

The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Ben Affleck, is scheduled to be filming relatively soon.

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