UPDATE: So it sounds like things actually worked out between Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. The War for the Planet of the Apes director has been tapped to helm The Batman. what a tumultuous story. Brandon’s original article is preserved below for posterity. [Drew Dietsch]
The Batman is going through directors like the Caped Crusader goes through Joker’s henchmen.
Just days after learning that War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was in talks to direct The Batman, it now seems he won’t be helming the project. The Hollywood Reporter claims talks between Reeves and Warner Bros have broken down, though it’s possible they might start back up in the future. For now, Reeves is out. This follows the news that Mr. Bruce Wayne himself, Ben Affleck, will only star in the film. However, since the announcement, even that is in question.
THR didn’t have insight into why Reeves stepped away from talks but it’s a shame because he’s an immensely talented director, one who could deftly deliver a spectacular Batman film. He’s the type of filmmaker who feels right for Batman. His style, his eye, and even his color palette are perfectly suited for this character. After seeing his work on Apes, I was excited to see what he could do with The Dark Knight. Now it seems we may never know.
The Batman Will Still Rise
Make no mistake: this doesn’t mean The Batman isn’t happening. No matter any bumps in the road, WB is making this movie. It’s as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow morning. Batman is too big of a property to put on the back burner. Aside from Harry Potter, he’s one of the few sure things Warner Bros has.
So it’s still getting made, with or without Reeves (or Affleck. Or really any director). That’s good news for Batfans but also possible bad news too. WB will hire someone – anyone! – to direct this project because they are hellbent to get it made. If it’s not with Reeves, it’ll be with a different director, perhaps one who isn’t as strong as him. Indeed, they will lower their standards again and again to find someone. Warner Bros’ insistence on getting this done means they won’t be too picky in the future. Plus they want this project moving forward soon. Time is ticking away. They need a director and they need one fast. Is it possible they find someone as good as Reeves? Sure, but it’s also possible they hire someone far, far less capable.
Will WB Wait?
We all want another Batman film but we want a good one. After Batman v Superman, we recognize how painful a bad Batman movie can be. We don’t want that again. My wish is that WB slows down and takes its time perfecting the script and then finds an amazing filmmaker to take it on. But knowing how these things work, I’d wager WB will hire someone not nearly as exciting as Reeves. They’re in a rush now and they don’t always do well when they’re falling behind and trying to keep pace with Marvel. Batman v Superman‘s embarrassing shoe-horning of the entire Justice League is a prime example. They’ll push ahead, even with a less-than-qualified director. To Warner Bros, Batman is bigger than one director.