Report: Warner Bros. Taps ‘Planet of the Apes’ Director Matt Reeves for ‘The Batman’
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 a replacement.
According to an exclusive report in Deadline Hollywood, Matt Reeves has been formally offered the director’s chair for The Batman, a decision that had apparently been in the works since even before Affleck stepped down. While Reeves might only have a handful of feature films to his name, his body of work offers Warner Bros. an enticing mixture of big-budget summer movies and smaller genre films. The director is certainly no stranger to the impossible; after all, this was the guy who took a post-apocalyptic Planet of the Apes sequel and managed to turn it into one of the most heartfelt films of the year. Compared to that, a Batman movie seems like small change.
Partially as a response to his success with the Planet of the Apes franchise, there has also been a critical re-evaluation of sorts for Let Me In, Reeves’ American adaptation of the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In. I’m something of a fanboy when it comes to adaptations of that story; not only have I see both films, I’ve also read the original novel and even caught the National Theatre of Scotland stage production when it traveled to New York City (spoiler alert: you didn’t really miss out on anything there). And while I’ll throw down against anyone who thinks Reeves’ film is better than the original, Let Me In is proof that Reeves won’t be afraid to take his Batman movie to some pretty dark places if the script requires.
Will a new director breathe new life into this troubled production? With all the pieces now in place, Batman fans might finally be able to relax a little bit and let the process take over. Until then, keep the July 14th release of War for the Planet of the Apes circled on your calendar. No better chance to get a look at what Matt Reeves is capable of than his awesome-looking sequel.