The upcoming standalone Batman movie just can't seem to catch a break. Following the announcement that Ben Affleck would no longer direct the Caped Crusader's new movie, it was reported last week that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was the frontrunner to succeed him. Everything seemed to be going okay on that front, but the news just dropped that Reeves won't be taking the job.
According to THR, Matt Reeves has exited talks with Warner Bros over directing the Batman movie because "negotiations have broken down." However, the article notes that there's a possibility that talks could resume once "heads cool." No reason was given for why Reeves decided he wanted out, whether it was due to creative differences, scheduling issues, money arguments, etc. Regardless, unless for some miraculous reason the man who's currently tackling post-production on War for the Planet of the Apes decides he wants back in, now Warner Bros and DC find themselves back to searching around the directorial pool for someone to take Ben Affleck's position.
No doubt this news will disappoint many fans who were keen on the prospect of Matt Reeves tackling the first solo Batman movie set in the DCEU. Reeves has proven to be adept at telling dark and compelling stories through Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes looks like it will keep his streak going this summer. He would have been a capable fit to take over for Ben Affleck and oversee this Dark Knight's crimefighting in Gotham City. Again, there's a chance that Reeves could meet with Warner Bros again, similarly to how Michael Keaton ended up playing Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming despite initially leaving the Marvel negotiating table. However, given that information we currently have, that doesn't seem likely right now.
While Matt Reeves was Warner Bros' top choice to direct the Batman movie, he wasn't the only candidate in consideration. Before Reeves was sent an offer, Ridley Scott and Don't Breathe's Fede Alvarez were being looked at, so with Reeves currently out of the picture, perhaps Warner Bros will turn their attention back to those two. Around the time that Reeves was first reported to be in consideration, Captain Fantastic's Matt Ross was also supposedly a candidate.
The Batman movie is understandably a priority for Warner Bros, but finding a new director may not be the only thing they're dealing with right now. At the beginning of February, it was revealed that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League scribe Chris Terrio was re-writing the script. A week later, it was suggested that these re-writes could be a complete refresh from what Affleck drafted with Geoff Johns, but just a day later, it was reported that the new script has already been turned in and that all parties are happy with it. Let's hope that last part is true, as Warner Bros has enough on their plate finding a new director.
We'll keep you updated on how the Batman movie is progressing or regressing as more news comes in, but for now, you can look forward to seeing Ben Affleck back in the cape and cowl when Justice League is released on November 17.