It’s no secret that Warner Brothers / DC Entertainment’s tentatively-titled “The Batman” film has had some ongoing troubles. Ben Affleck, who is set to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne / Batman, has unabashedly gone on record to say that if the movie is not up to his high-quality standards, that he will walk away.
Well, it appears that he has done just that.
Affleck issued a statement once the news broke to Variety. “There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” he said; “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Warner Brothers Studio also issued a statement, in which they said; “Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life,”
Affleck, at this point, is still on to portray Batman, a character he has already broken in to with 2016’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and – briefly – 2016’s Suicide Squad. It is also unclear if the studio will continue with the script that Ben Affleck (along with Geoff Johns) was working on, the same script that was plagued with problems and frustrations.
When the news initially broke, speculation immediately heated up as to which director WB/DC would hire to replace Affleck. Some names immediately rose to the top. Some names have been kicked around that seem rather unlikely like Clint Eastwood and Bruce Timm. While unlikely some of those are, admittedly, great choices.
Here are a couple more:
Matt Reeves. Reeves is best known for his work on 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and 2017’s upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes. He also directed the J.J. Abrams-produced Cloverfield in 2008. The same reporter that broke the news about Batman leaving Batman has also said that Reeves is on the “short list”.
Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith loves comic books. Ever since his first film, Clerks, Smith has been infusing his movies with superhero and comic book references and love. He has shown his comic book store “The Secret Stash” more than once on film and even had Stan Lee’s first cameo appearance in Mallrats. Ben Affleck starred in a few of Smith’s movies in the 1990s such as Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma. That being said, Smith has said that he hasn’t spoken with Affleck “in years”. More recently, he has been working with the CW directing episodes of Supergirl and The Flash. Smith thinks it’s unlikely, but does Warner Brothers?
Lexi Alexander. Lexi Alexander is not a stranger to action films. She wrote and directed the 2005 film “Green Street Hooligans” as well as the brutal and hyper-violent “Punisher: War Zone” in 2008. She has also directed an episode each of both Supergirl and Arrow.
David Ayer. If you want a gritty, violent war-driven movie then Ayer is your guy. Ayer wrote the screenplay for the much-loved WWII era film U-571. He went on to write Training Day, Dark Blue, S.W.A.T. , End of Watch, Fury and Suicide Squad. Ayer is the director who will be running the upcoming Gotham City Sirens movie. He has previously directed Fury, End of Watch and Training Day. If anyone could do a great gritty, street-level Batman story, this is your guy.
Gareth Edwards. You remember how awesome Rogue One: A Star Wars Story turned out to be? Edwards directed it. He also gave us 2010’s film “Monsters” and the follow up “Monsters: Dark Territory”. It was realistic, intense and the style would fit the style that a Batman film in this modern age would require.
Guillermo Del Toro. Del Toro is the master of the moody, atmospheric, brooding film. With films like Hellboy I, Hellboy II, Pan’s Labryinth, Pacific Rim, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and the in-development Hellboy III and Pacific Rim sequel to his name, you can see the sort of style that Del Toro would bring to Bats.
George A. Miller. Yes, that Miller. The same Miller that gave movie fans some of the greatest car chase action sequences of all time. Miller directed Mad Max: The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Fury Road. Fury Road was highly acclaimed for its vision and cinematography. Miller came very close to directing a Justice League movie at one point. It would have been called Justice League: Mortal and starred Armie Hammer as Batman and DJ Cotrona as Superman, among others. Words like “visionary” were thrown around regarding the film but, unfortunately, it never saw the light of day. Miller might give us too big of a spectacle for what Batman needs right now but it would still be amazing.
So, who would you pick to direct the Batman movie? Sound off in the comments below! ComicBooked will bring you more news as it develops….