Batman hasn’t had this rough of a time since his Joel Schumacher days.
Just when it seemed like the DC extended universe finally was getting The Batman off the ground, it all fell apart. At least the studio and the Dark Knight’s fanbase have the success of The Lego Batman Movie to celebrate.
Now The Batman has, in fact, lost another potential director, as Matt Reeves has exited negotiations to helm the new film.
The director – known for such fan-favorite releases as Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – was reportedly in talks to make The Batman his next big-screen project after War for the Planet of the Apes, which hits theaters this summer. Reeves would have filled in for Ben Affleck, although the Argo filmmaker still is currently onboard to star as Bruce Wayne/Batman despite reports he wants out of the role.
As for the circumstances of Reeves’ exit, The Hollywood Reporter only mentioned how negotiations came to a halt but could resume at a later date. Rumors which have popped up since news of the director’s potential involvement indicated that his contract would have been for multiple films, and it’s possible Reeves was unwilling to commit to such a long-term deal, especially coming off of back-to-back Apes films.
Whatever the case may be, it remains troubling that the DC extended universe has such a difficult time nailing down filmmakers to take on its tentpole releases. The Flash in particular already has gone through a pair of directors in screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith and Dope filmmaker Rick Famuyiwa, with no replacement in sight.
As it stands, the only DC extended universe project aside from Wonder Woman and Justice League – both of which already are in the can and due out this year – which is moving forward at a steady pace is James Wan’s Aquaman.
Since Batman is the highest-grossing solo superhero franchise, there’s absolutely no chance Warner Bros. will let this property lie for very long, even if the planned spring production start is pushed back. All signs point to some fundamental flaw in the studio’s approach to these projects, but sooner or later, yet another director will be brought on to bring Gotham City to life once again.
We can only hope the Dark Knight gets the treatment he deserves when the final product does hit the screen.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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