It’s been the saga that has kept comic book movie fans the world over waiting with bated breath.
No, we’re not talking about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or even the upcoming Justice League. Rather, fans of the DC extended universe have anxiously wondered if Ben Affleck – who debuted as the Dark Knight in last year’s Dawn of Justice – would in fact direct the announced solo Batman movie he is co-writing and starring in.
Of course, the Internet has been all abuzz speculating about who Warner Bros. might sign on to helm the project, with names like Arrival‘s Denis Villeneuve and Gone Girl‘s David Fincher being bandied about.
However, one fan is taking the initiative and has launched a petition for the studio to bring Zack Snyder back to direct The Batman. The posting cites the director’s track record with comic book adaptations and his visual style, as well as the dark tone he has established throughout the extended universe as proof that he deserves the job. As of Friday, more than 3,000 fans have already demonstrated their support.
After tackling Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Justice League, Snyder clearly is the most qualified to continue keeping the extended universe rolling along. However, the divisive reaction to Batman v Superman in particular makes him a somewhat unlikely choice to continue.
Sure, the film raked in $873 million worldwide, but it was also a critical disaster – leading to an executive shake-up within DC Films – and damaged fan goodwill during the same summer that Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War outperformed it on every level. That isn’t good for the future of the extended univese or its place in the ever-crowded world of superhero films.
Since Batman is the most reliable DC hero the company has in its corner (from a box office perspective, at least), the studio needs The Batman to deliver in a way few of Snyder’s films have.
That being said, it’s encouraging that Snyder and Batman v Superman co-writers Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer have nothing to do with the screenplay that DC mainstay Geoff Johns and Affleck have been working on.
Seeing as Snyder’s primary skill is visual storytelling, perhaps having him serve as director isn’t the worst idea for the project.
After all, the grim tone of his previous two extended universe films would be far more fitting for a solo Batman anyway.
Perhaps he deserves the chance to actually apply it to the character.
In any case, Affleck and Joe Manganiello are onboard to star in the film, which originally was supposed to be shooting this spring. Either the film will have to be pushed back, or Warner Bros. needs to act fast to find a director.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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