Now that Warner Bros. has Matt Reeves in the director’s chair for “The Batman,” you might think they’d be eager to hustle the movie into production as soon as possible. However, the standalone picture for Ben Affleck‘s Bruce Wayne could still be a long way off.

According to Variety’s Justin Kroll, Reeves’ contract with Fox for “War For The Planet Of The Apes” runs through the end of June, which probably means that in addition to finishing the upcoming movie, he’ll need to be around to do press and promotion. Essentially, he’s not going to really dive into “The Batman” until the end of the summer at the earliest, and then if you factor in pre-production, casting, and all that stuff, well, “The Batman” will take some time to lift off.

That sounds about right, and good advice on rumors, though I’d lay good money we’ll probably hear shortlist talk and that kind of thing anyway in the months ahead. However, with San Diego Comic-Con in July, I’d bet Warner Bros. will work hard to get Reeves and Affleck to make an appearance.

Frankly, time is only a good thing for “The Batman” which has been under heavy scrutiny before a single frame has been shot. And it will certainly take some pressure and stress off Affleck, who recently announced he’s completed rehab for alcohol addiction. [io9]