Earlier this week, Bret Easton Ellis made headlines when he claimed that the script for The Batman was terrible and that Warner Bros. didn’t really care. In an interview with The Ringer (via io9), Ellis mentioned having dinner with a few studio executives who had heard through the rumor mill that several people involved in Ben Affleck’s movie had approached Warner Bros. with a list of changes needed to iron out the script. According to Ellis’ sources, the executives were told that the studio just didn’t care.

Understandably, these comments hit a nerve. Fans of the DC Cinematic Universe have long been battling the perception that Warner Bros. cares more about the opening weekend than it does putting an impressive movie on the market. In response to all the negative feedback and comments, Ellis felt the need to clarify his statements on Facebook and offer a sort-of apology for what was said.

As io9 reports, a few reporters from The Wrap and Forbes were quick to question Ellis’ comments when they were first published, so it is entirely possible that this is a tremendous amount of smoke and not a lot of fire. After the debacle surrounding the Suicide Squad screenplay, however, there is one thing we can say for certain: DC and Warner Bros. have lost the benefit of the doubt with fans, and it will take them quite some time to gain it back. It’s entirely possible that The Batman is in tremendous shape, but until Warner Bros. puts out a movie that impresses us with its writing as much as its visuals, fans will jump on every quote like this. It’s the hole they’ve dug for themselves.

We’ve still got a long way to go with this project, so expect to see a few more stories like this one break along the way. Fingers crossed that Jeremy Irons is right and The Batman begins shooting in 2017. I’d hate to think how crazy this will make us all if we let this drag out two more years.

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