Uh-oh. Things really aren’t looking good for ‘The Batman.’
Barely a week after news broke that ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ director Matt Reeves was in talks to take the helm on the troubled DC movie, it now seems these talks have not come to fruition and Reeves is walking away from the project.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “negotiations have broken down” between Reeves and Warner Bros/DC – although it is noted that “talks could resume when heads cool.” Which would seem to imply that things got a bit heated.
This is precisely the kind of pre-publicity ‘The Batman,’ and the DC Extended Universe brand overall, really doesn’t need right now. Despite their designs on presenting a substantial rival to the comic book movie juggernaut that is Marvel Studios, the existing DCEU movies – ‘Man of Steel,’ ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ – have not come close to the commercial success of Marvel’s biggest hits, nor have the films fared anywhere near as well with the critics.
Hopes had been high for ‘The Batman,’ with Ben Affleck originally set to not only star and co-write but also direct the solo movie; cause for optimism, given Affleck is an Oscar-winning screenwriter for ‘Good Will Hunting,’ and Oscar-nominated director for ‘Argo.’
However, after persistent rumours about script problems and other behind the scenes issues, Affleck stood down as director of ‘The Batman’ last month – and it has been claimed that he wants out as Batman actor too, although he is contractually bound for a third appearance in the role (following the upcoming ‘Justice League,’ out this November).
This isn’t the only DC movie facing such struggles either, as ‘The Flash’ has also seen two directors come and go in Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa, and there are no indications yet of a replacement having been found. The upcoming ‘Wonder Woman’ also had a troubled development, which saw original director Michelle MacLaren replaced by Patty Jenkins.
Still, it has been reported that Ridley Scott (who has ample experience directing major blockbusters) and Fede Alvarez (director of ‘Evil Dead’ and ‘Don’t Breathe,’ somewhat less experienced at this level) have also been in contention for the job of directing ‘The Batman’ – and THR note that Warner Bros are “intent on making the movie no matter what, as the Batman franchise has proven to be bigger than one person.”
No release date has been set for ‘The Batman’ at present.