After a somewhat awkward start to 2017 for Warner Bros.’s DC studio, it seems that things may be headed in a slightly better direction. Following the news that The Flash movie had lost its second director in a row (Rick Famuyiwa) back in October, we then heard shortly after that Ben Affleck was more than a little hesitant to stay in the director’s chair for, while also writing and starring in, The Batman – the first solo film for the Caped Crusader in the studio’s current DC Extended Universe continuity. Many were quick to suspect the worst, and they were right to do so.
Following an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show in promotion for his then-new movie Live by Night, where when asked about helming the Batman film Affleck nodded his head and said “Yeah”, the news broke that the 44-year-old would not be directing the movie after all, citing that directing, writing and playing the lead role would be too much to handle all at once in his official statement.
Later, it was reported that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was in talks for The Batman, but conversations broke down shortly after the news broke, with THR saying that heads needed to “cool” between Reeves and the studio before talks resumed. Well, it seems that everybody’s given each other a great big Bat-hug, as the latest statement from Warners’ President and Chief Content Officer Toby Emmerich has now confirmed that Reeves will direct the film:
“We are thrilled to have Matt Reeves taking the helm of Batman, the crown jewel of our DC slate. Matt’s deep roots in genre films and his evolution into an emotional world-building director make him the perfect filmmaker to guide the Dark Knight through this next journey.”
This certainly ensures fans that despite the recent setbacks, the studio wants us know that they are fully behind this film, and that as the “crown jewel” of their DC lineup its important to them, and they want to get it right.
Reeves had this to add:
“I have loved the Batman story since I was a child. He is such an iconic and compelling character, and one that resonates with me deeply. I am incredibly honored and excited to be working with Warner Bros. to bring an epic and emotional new take on the Caped Crusader to the big screen.”
Erik Davis of Fandango soon followed up this news on Twitter saying that Warner Bros. had told him that Affleck is still attached to star in the movie. Davis in an earlier tweet had quite rightly pointed out that Affleck’s name had not been mentioned in Emmerich’s statement whatsoever, and was understandably concerned. Of course, we can’t know for sure – they’ve lied to us before – but the lack of a mention of Batfleck in the press release could mean he may leave the role altogether, or it could simply be that the studio wanted to keep the focus solely on the recruitment of Reeves.
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The Batman is expected to be release in 2018.