It looks as if Warner Bros. has found its replacement director for The Batman. Ben Affleck, who played the Caped Crusader in last year’s Batman v Superman and will reprise the role in the upcoming Justice League, was set to write, direct, produce and star in the planned Batman solo feature film. However, after months of hemming and hawing about the project he finally revealed a few weeks back that he would in fact not be directing the film, stating that he felt he couldn’t do both directing and acting to the level he thought the character deserved. That left Warner Bros to find another filmmaker to tag in to take over.
And according to Variety, the studio has tapped Matt Reeves to take over the directing reins. Reeves has not yet signed on the dotted line, but the filmmaker has now officially entered talks with the studio and according to the report he has already committed to the project. Ever since the official announcement of Affleck’s departure from the director’s chair, many publications had reported Reeves as being the replacement frontrunner.
While Affleck, with his Oscar-winning clout, had been an incredibly land for Warner Bros., Reeves is certainly no slouch either. Reeves started off his career by co-creating fan-favourite series Felicity with JJ Abrams in the lat 90s. He mainly stayed in the TV space for the next decade or so, occasionally penning scripts like The Yards and Under Siege 2, but then in 2008 made his feature film directing debut when he helmed the Abrams produced found footage creature feature Cloverfield. He followed that up with Let Me In, the fantastic English-language remake of Swedish vampire flick Let The Right One In.
Both films were hits with critics and fans, but it was with 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes where he really grabbed global attention. The sequel to surprise prequel hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn ended up being an incredible balancing act of cutting edge CGI, blockbuster action and heavy, layered character drama. It was easily one of the best films in the year it was released, and its upcoming sequel, War of the Planet of the Apes, looks to do the same later this year.
With that film practically in the bag, The Batman should be Reeves’ next production. There have been numerous contradicting rumours swirling recently surrounding the the script Affleck co-wrote with DC Comics stalwart Geoff Johns. Some have claimed that Warner Bros wanted a full script rewrite, while others suggest that the studio is in fact very happy with what the two men have turned in. Whatever the actual situation, it’s a safe bet that Reeves may want to put add his own flavour to the script. While no release date has been officially given by Warner Bros., with Reeves in place as director, it’s assumed that The Batman should start production closer to the end of the year ahead of a possible 2019 release.