There once was a narrative that Ben Affleck, armed with a love of the source material and a great relationship with Warner Brothers after the success of Argo, would come rushing in to rescue the DC Expanded Universe. His acting work as Bruce Wayne/Batman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice brought some acclaim from an otherwise horrible movie, and fans were eagerly awaiting his take on the character in The Batman, a film he would direct and co-write as well as star in. However, that narrative started falling apart when it was revealed that Affleck stepped down as director, and the latest rumor destroys the “Affleck as Savior” narrative completely.
Forbes is citing sources that say that Affleck’s screenplay, which he co-wrote with co-head of DC Films Geoff Johns, has already been rewritten by Chris Terrio (who rewrote the awful BvS script) and will probably get a page one rewrite from another author once a new director is found.
While Affleck stepping down as director was publicly announced by Warners, the studio is keeping this latest move a secret. If the rumor is true, it does not leave a good feeling in the pit of fans hopeful that The Batman would be any good at all.
The directorial move has been portrayed as being a willing choice by Affleck, but rumors swirled that his stepping down was not entirely voluntary. This latest move just adds fuel to that fire. And if studio interference was to blame, well, the studio’s interference is the reason why Jonah Hex had superpowers, BvS was stripped of thirty minutes that would have made the film stronger, and Suicide Squad had reshoots to add humor to it, humor the concept didn’t really need. In other words, there’s a long track record of Warner Brothers’ influence on DC Comics being anything but beneficial.
Also, if it is studio influence is to blame, where is the influence coming from? Johns is pretty high up on the corporate ladder to be removed from a project without much of a fuss. Warners does view the DC films as a priority, but is it that big of a priority?
Anyway, we should find out more if this rumor is true in the coming weeks and months.