The writing has been on the wall for a while now even if we chose to ignore it. Last night it was revealed that Ben Affleck would not be directing The Batman solo movie, destroying most people’s hopes for the future of the DC movie universe. Who could possibly replace Ben Affleck as director of The Batman? Warner Bros. already has a short list of directors that they are meeting for the project.
According to Deadline, the two prominent names on Warner Bros.’ The Batman director short list are Matt Reeves and Matt Ross.
Matt Reeves is the director of The Pallbearer, Cloverfield, Let Me In and the two Planet of the Apes sequels, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes. He has a great eye for action and tone, with a knack for smartly grounding his blockbuster stories. War for the Planet of the Apes is currently deep in post-production and will hit theaters in July, so it’s unlikely Reeves would be available before then.
Matt Ross is an actor (Face/Off, American Psycho) who has recently made waves as a director, having helmed the critically acclaimed 2016 film Captain Fantastic which debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
These aren’t the only names on the short list, but they are the only names we know at this time. While the studio and Affleck will be pursuing a director for the standalone Batman film, odds are good that a filmmaker won’t be announced overnight. It could take some time to find a filmmaker who is a fit for the material and is to both Affleck and the studio’s tastes.
Based on overall fan reaction, along with feedback we already received on the news regarding Affleck’s departure, audience goers found his approach to the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman as one of the best in years, so it’s no doubt that those same fans were looking forward to seeing him direct the solo film, especially given that Affleck is a proven talent when it comes to directing a film. Nonetheless, with all that has gone on with their superhero movie franchises, it seems very unlikely that Warner Bros. would hire someone who isn’t up for the challenge, and Matt Reeves might be the closest thing to the level of that as he has proven he can produce artful smart films while working on big blockbuster films in the studio system.
With Matt Reeves and Matt Ross being thrown around as possible director replacements for Ben Affleck, is this a case of Warner Bros. scrambling in an attempt to keep some kind of control over their product, or has the studio been carefully looking at this situation for some time now?
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