Producing a Hollywood blockbuster is by no means a small feat – and takes a mammoth amount of work both creatively and physically. Up until the beginning of 2017, Ben Affleck was showing real superhuman commitment, planning to star in, direct and even write the script on a standalone Batman film, which was actually rumored for a summer 2018 release.
However, it seems the star of the show has had a significant change of heart – and at the beginning of the year, decided to relinquish his duties as director. The troubling news was also accompanied with the announcement that the script was undergoing a total rewrite by award winning script writer Chris Terrio.
Thankfully, the film seems to have somewhat been rescued with the news that Matt Reeves, who has just completed work on a new Planet of the Apes film, and is now taking the helm as director. So yes, we we are going to see a new Batman movie – but it’s likely this is going to take some time indeed. Some sources suggest that the film could even be pushed back as far as 2020.
Ben Affleck released a statement about the whole situation – one that suggests he had the fans interests at best:
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. 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.”
Ben is no stranger to the Dark Knight of Gotham starring in 2016’s Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, making an appearance in Suicide Squad and is due to throw on the cape once again for this year’s Justice League film.
But what has really happened here? On the surface, it seems simple enough – the star wants to perfect his role as Batman for the fans. On the other hand, a rewrite of the script suggests something hasn’t gone quite right internally. Admittedly, this would have seemed less of an issue if this was just isolated to the script. But a change of directors points to something troubling.
And unfortunately, that seems to be the case. Rumor has it that pre-production has been mired by script problems and other internal disputes. This could be down to mounting pressure from Warner Bros. who have been allegedly pushing through production to keep a constant stream of DC Universe content in motion. Could it be that those pressures were what caused Ben Affleck to step down from his directing role?
The true worst case scenario and potential nightmare of this situation is if Ben decides to abandon the project entirely – and after the negative critical backlash of both Suicide Squad and Batman vs Superman – Warner Bros. really needs a win to even come close to outdoing Marvel’s recent success stories. What puzzles us most is that the DC Universe contains some of the strongest characters in all of superhero trivia – and Batman, Superman and the rest of the gang have been popular subjects of online quizzes.
Will ‘The Batman’ movie ever emerge from the Batcave ready to take on the scum of Gotham? With a new director and a revamped script – it seems that the Bat will finally see the silver screen again – but whether it will be Ben Affleck in the role is yet to be seen.