In the weeks following Ben Affleck‘s exit as director of The Batman, Warner Bros. has been scrambling to find a replacement. This is the fourth director that has left a DCEU project. Last we heard, Argo writer Chris Terrio, who also did the rewrites for Batman v Superman and worked on the script to Justice League, took a pass on the script that was penned by Affleck and Geoff Johns.
Though Affleck waffled, he has said that he wouldn’t commit to directing unless the script was up to his expectations. Now that he’s out, WB may have to start with a clean slate. More on the story below.
In a piece from Forbes Magazine, we are learning that Matt Reeves remains one of the frontrunners to direct the film. WB is reportedly also eyeing Captain Fantastic director Matt Ross to helm the film, which could get a 2019 release.
When they find a new director, it’s possible that the film could be getting a new script. Here’s what Forbes reports:
How extensive the process will be — I’m hearing anything from “major rewrites” to “a completely new script,” including starting from scratch on the story if that’s what it takes — is unclear, not just to us but probably to those involved as well, since the new filmmaker might look at the story and script and decide there’s plenty to salvage that appeals to them. Once the director is in place, more will become clear, but for now Warner Bros. is suffering far more negative perceptions than they need to, simply because of the attempt to slow and control the spread of information.
Now that Affleck is free of writing and directing The Batman, it will be up to the new writer and/or director to figure out how the Dark Knight will fit into the DCEU. Affleck has appeared as Batman in BvS, Suicide Squad, and the upcoming Justice League. So whomever, gets the job would have plenty of material to work with. But there is also some problems with that. There have been a number of Batman films that have been released before BvS. So it will be hard to establish this Batman from his predecessors. Still, the character will be a part of a larger universe, so whether or not the film is good or bad, he will live on in sequels, ensembles, and spinoffs.
As far as we know, Joe Manganiello will still play Deathstroke. But new details are emerging that seem to confirm previous reports that the film would have featured a number of villains and be set in Arkham Asylum. Jared Leto would have reprised his role as The Joker. But we’ve all heard about how unhappy Leto was with Suicide Squad, especially after all the time and effort he put into the film. If it’s decided that this isn’t the direction to go in, then they’ll have to figure out a new direction and rewrite the script.
That being said, all of this could be fixed if they could actually get a director to commit to a film from start to finish. Right now, the future of the DCEU doesn’t look good. The Batman isn’t the only film to experience production problems. BvS had to go through rewrites, The Flash lost two directors in one year, and Wonder Woman also lost one director.
I imagine WB will reevaluate the future of the DCEU should Wonder Woman and Justice League fail to live up to their expectations.