Well, this is a surprise.
Just one week after discussions reportedly broke down between director Matt Reeves and Warner Brothers, the studio has announced that the War Of The Planet Of The Apes director has signed on to direct their superhero standalone film The Batman.
In a press release from the studio, Reeves made the standard enthusiastic statement about the source material that we generally hear from directors taking on fan favorite genre properties.
I have loved the Batman story since I was a child. 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.
It has been a rather tumultuous month for the project. On January 30th, actor/writer/director Ben Affleck stepped away from the director’s chair, stating that the film needed to be helmed by someone whose focus wasn’t being split by their acting duties as well. Affleck had played Batman in last year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad and is set to take the lead in this film. A week later it was reported that Affleck’s script for the film was being reworked by Chris Terrio. Almost as quickly as he was announced as being in contention to replace Affleck, it was being reported that negotiations between Reeves and the studio had broken off. All the while, rumors swirled that Affleck was possibly looking for a way out pf the franchise altogether, perhaps upset with the direction that Warners was taking their DC Extended Universe films.
Reeves has been the guiding force on the last two installments of 20th Century Fox’s rebooted Planet Of The Apes series. It remains to be seen if hew ill continue on with that franchise as well, but it certainly would be a shame to loose him, if the studio wants a follow up to this summer’s War On The Planet Of The Apes, which opens on July 14.