Last night the news broke that Ben Affleck will not direct the DC Extended Universe's upcoming solo Batman movie. While the actor is still attached as a producer and to play Bruce Wayne, Warner Bros has begun searching for his directing replacement. A few potential candidates have already been named in the last 24 hours, but if Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn had any say in the matter, he'd like someone who directed one of 2016's biggest horror hits to helm the Caped Crusader's movie. He stated:
If Jeremy Saulnier was interested, he'd be a good choice.
James Gunn took some time out of his busy schedule earlier today to answer some fan questions on Facebook, and one of those was who he think should be tapped as the Batman movie's new director. Gunn answered Jeremy Saulnier, who has plenty of experience with the horror and thriller genres. Of course, given that Gunn works for Marvel, DC's main competitor, it's unlikely anyone from Warner Bros is directly seeking him out for advice on the matter, but regardless, it's a good suggestion.
Jeremy Saulnier currently has three feature film credits on his resume, all of which he also wrote: 2004's Murder Party, 2013's Blue Ruin and 2016's Green Room. That last one proved to be one of the surprise critical hits last year, currently ranking at 91% among top critics on Rotten Tomatoes. While choosing someone whose primarily told stories to scare audiences might seem like a weird pick for a superhero movie, Saulnier would actually be an interesting choice for the Batman movie. For one thing, Warner Bros hired James Wan, the man behind Saw and Insidious, to direct Aquaman, so the studio is clearly willing to bring in horror talent.
More importantly, though, is that much of the Batman mythos is rooted in horror, namely how Gotham City, a city already notorious for regular crime, is full of freaks and colorful criminals who target the innocent in unorthodox ways. Then you have Batman himself, a vigilante who looms in the shadows and fights crime with such ferocity that a lot of his victims see him more as a beast or force of nature than a human. With Jeremy Saulnier's touch, we could possibly get the most terrifying Batman movie yet...though not so terrifying that it would warrant an R-rating (at least with the theatrical cut).
With Warner Bros searching for a new director and an earlier report stating that a production delay is likely, it's unclear when the Batman movie will be released, but we'll keep you updated on how it's progressing as more new comes in. In the meantime, you can see James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 when it hits theaters on May 5.