In yet another sign that the DC Universe of films has some serious problems, there has been yet another shakeup with a DC Film.
The Hollywood Reporter has an exclusive from someone inside the studio who is telling them that Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) has exited negotiations to direct the Ben Affleck starring solo film The Batman. With the breakdown in negotiations, this leaves the film without a director again after the film’s star Affleck decided to withdraw from the director’s chair less than two weeks ago.
This isn’t the only production from DC Films that has had constant problems. Last year, two different directors, the last being Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) left the production of The Flash due to “creative differences”. The last departure is forcing the production back to a page one rewrite. There was speculation that the same thing would happen with The Batman. Warner Brothers expressed their confidence in the script that they had from Affleck and DC Films Co-Head Geoff Johns. Could this be the reason why negotiations with Reeves broke down?
Personally, I want the DC Films to succeed, but there is more than enough circumstantial evidence to suggest that there is a serious problem with the DC Films universe that needs to be addressed. “Creative Differences” can mean a lot of different things, but the usual explanation is that the director was brought in to execute someone else’s vision instead of the director’s. The other part of that scenario is usually an unhealthy amount of interference from the production company and studio bosses who want their opinions on the production heard. Perhaps the directors who are leaving are tired of directing by committee.
There is always the possibility that Reeves and the studio can come to an understanding, but there is so much of a taint on this production at this point, that suspending it until all parties agree on a script and a direction might just be the best decision that they can make. While we can only speculate on what this means for James Wan’s Aquaman film and the other films on their slate that are in pre-production, this latest news does not instill this fan and movie-goer with a lot of confidence.
What do you think? Are you worried about the DC Films Universe? How do you think they can fix the issues that they have? Leave a comment below.
Update!! – A week after negotiations broke down between the director and the studio, The Hollywood Reporter has released a couple of statements from both the director and the studio to announce that Matt Reeves will be coming on board the film to both Direct and Produce.
“I have loved the Batman story since I was a child,” Reeves said today in a statement released to the media. “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.”
Warner Brothers also weighed in on the announcement telling the press. “We are thrilled to have Matt Reeves taking the helm of Batman, the crown jewel of our DC slate,” said Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “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.”
Hopefully, this means a change in the fortunes for both the studio and the DC Film universe. We will continue to follow this story for any additional updates.