Earlier this week, a few little birdies spoke with /Film about Warner Bros. standalone superhero film The Batman being rewritten completely from scratch. According to the site’s sources, the studio has chosen to start all over again with input from director Matt Reeves; additional sources also noted that Reeves wouldn’t even meet with prospective cast members until sometime this summer. This came on the heels of comments from a Variety reporter that Reeves is still under contract for War for the Planet of the Apes through the end of June, meaning The Batman was unlikely to even enter production until 2018.
So, The Batman. Is it happening? Will we ever see it? Is Ben Affleck second-guessing his decision to join the Snyderverse? It seems every time we talk about this movie another doomsday scenario (no pun intended) is right over the horizon. It did finally acquire a new director — Matt Reeves has officially signed on after a short little negotiating game — but production is still, as far as we know, halted.
After a brief and weirdly intense game of will they / won’t they, it looks like Matt Reeves will direct The Batman for Warner Bros. and Ben Affleck. Following reports late last week that negotiations had broken down between the Planet of the Apes director and the studio comes a reversal, as Reeves has officially signed on to helm the upcoming solo Bat-project, which was previously intended as a directing vehicle for Affleck himself.
Since announcing that Ben Affleck would no longer be directing the upcoming standalone The Batman film, Warner Bros. has been in a full-blown crisis mode, working overtime to find a talented new director and prove all those “Is the DC Cinematic Universe doomed?” articles wrong. Back in January, Forbes reported that the Warner Bros. shortlist featured several interesting names, including George Miller, Denis Villeneuve, and Matt Reeves. And now, less than two weeks after The Batman lost its director, it appears that Warner Bros. has settled on its replacement.
These are dark days for the Dark Knight.
With Ben Affleck no longer directing the solo Batman movie (guess he finally watched Live by Night, huh?), the search is on for a new director to take his place. Amid various reports regarding Affleck’s exit from the director’s chair was an interesting tidbit of news you might have missed: The screenplay for The Batman, penned by Affleck with DC’s own Geoff Johns, received a rewrite from Chris Terrio.
A story, told in headlines: Here’s us on December 18, reporting on Ben Affleck’s voicing of slight misgivings about his tentative gig as the director of the new Batman solo film:
We all know that Ben Affleck’s performance as Batman was one of the few things both critics and fans of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice could completely agree on. From his shallow playboy persona as Bruce Wayne to his thinly veiled rage as the Dark Knight, Affleck’s take on the character got everyone very excited to see what the actor-writer-director could do with a free hand for his standalone The Batman movie. Unfortunately, things have slowed considerably since, with rumors of mediocre scripts and a shifting release date taking some of the buzz off the upcoming release.
There seems to be a bit of conflicting information regarding Ben Affleck’s standalone Batman movie: Last week, Zack Snyder set his next directing project as WB pushed back the release of Justice League 2, reportedly to make room for the Batman movie. Earlier this week, Affleck said he’s taking his time with the project and making sure the script, which he’s co-writing with Geoff Johns, is right before heading into production. But now, Affleck has confirmed that his Batman film will shoot next spring, while WB president Greg Silverman says it’s on track for a 2018 release.
One of the biggest problems (and one that we’ve covered quite a bit) with Warner Bros’ DCEU is the way the studio is reverse-engineering its Justice League franchise. Instead of establishing their characters in individual films and slowly building toward a big crossover, they’ve done the reverse. And by building their productions around meeting a release date deadline, they wind up with films that are kind of a mess. If Ben Affleck’s approach to his Batman standalone film (and the recent decision to delay Justice League 2) is any indication, then maybe — just maybe — WB is learning from their mistakes.