Why Matt Reeves May Have Originally Walked Away From Directing The Batman Movie

Batman v Superman Ben Affleck Batcave

If you've been following the DC Universe's behind-the-scenes goings on, you're probably suffering from a slight case of dizziness right about now. That would be due to the merry-go-round that is the creative pool over at Warner Bros, with the most recent revolution taking Ben Affleck out of the director's chair for The Batman, and installing Matt Reeves. But for a little while, it looked like Reeves wasn't going to take the job, for reasons unknown to us, at least until now. Word on the street has given us a reason for the director's initial pass on Warner Bros' offer, and ultimately it sounds like creative control was the clincher.

Splash Report ran a comprehensive history of the DC Extended Universe's problem with hiring directors, and there was one particular case that the publication seems to think played an important part to Matt Reeves ultimately signing on the dotted line to shepherd The Batman into cinematic birth. As it turns out, James Wan's hiring to direct Aquaman came with a pretty important stipulation ensuring the father of The Conjuring franchise would play ball: total creative control. Now, as you can see in the DCEU, getting that assurance is as hard as pulling The Joker's teeth, and Reeves' initial pass on the offer was because Warner Bros thought they could stand their ground and keep their hands on the wheel.

Of course, seeing as The Batman now officially has Matt Reeves as its director in charge, Warner Bros. has allegedly relented, reverting back to its pre-release attitude of laissez-faire filmmaking that tinted Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's early days. At least, that's what one would think, considering the public's reaction to both Zack Snyder's first DCEU entry, as well as the "Academy Award Winning" Suicide Squad, was less than stellar. Not to mention, the constant stream of directors leaving projects like The Flash have left the future of DC Comics' shared universe in serious question. A change is needed, and allowing someone like Matt Reeves to build his own version of The Batman is a good step in the right direction.

Going forward, the future of The Batman, as well as the DC Extended Universe, is going to depend on Warner Bros balancing the expectations of fans, creative types and their own dreams of comic book grandeur. No pressure or anything, but if Wonder Woman and Justice League both take the lumps that the previous entries in the universe have incurred, then it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

The Batman is being eyed for a 2018 release date, with Gotham City Sirens also looking to take the field in the same year. When we have more information on the production of either film, you'll be the first to know!

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.