When it was announced that Ben Affleck would not be directing the next standalone Batman film, rumored to be titled The Batman, didn’t come as a big surprise. Development has been slow, and Affleck has been more-or-less committed to the job. The departure meant that the studio would be forced to look for possible directors to take the helm.
Now War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves and Captain Fantastic director Matt Ross are possible candidates to direct the film. More on the story below.
The news comes to us from Deadline, who says Reeves and Ross are currently on a shortlist of directors to takeover the project. But don’t expect those two to be the only names, they are just the only ones to reported at this time.
The untitled standalone Batman film doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but it will have a script written by Affleck and Geoff Johns. Affleck will also star and produce. Joe Manganiello will play Deathstroke, the film’s main villain.
Reeves is best known for his work on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes. He also directed Cloverfield and Let Me In.
Ross directed the critically acclaimed Captain Fantastic, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Viggo Mortenson, who starred in the film, is currently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film.
It would have been exciting to see Affleck behind the lens of his own superhero film. However, the latest news is concerning, considering that this is the fourth director that has dropped out of a DCEU film. Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa both dropped out of The Flash last year, citing creative differences. Michelle MacLaren exited Wonder Woman in 2015, only to be replaced by Patty Jenkins. The state of the DCEU could possibly be in disarray if WB is unable to lock down a director for the untitled standalone Batman film.
The film doesn’t have a release date as of yet, so there is no deadline to meet. However, WB has done some considerable scheduling shifting by pushing back the release date of Justice League 2 to make room for Batman. The studio also has four untitled DCEU films slated release in the next two years.
Clearly, the studio could not put The Batman on hold any longer and wants to get the film out sooner than later. I like to think that Reeves could helm a superhero movie, based on how he directed the last two Planet of the Apes sequels. We’ll keep you posted if the shortlist grows or if WB finally settles on a director.