The bad news for fans of the DC Extended Universe is that Ben Affleck is no longer going to direct The Batman for Warner Bros. The good news is, the studio is not messing around when it comes to filling the director's chair, as they are going after some truly top-notch talent. Recently, it was reported that Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is the studio's top choice for the job and they are just waiting on the deal to get done, since he has already committed to directing the movie. Should things fall apart, apparently Alien and Blade Runner director Ridley Scott is hanging out on the sidelines to direct.
The news broke just before the weekend that Matt Reeves, who was the rumored frontrunner to direct The Batman when Ben Affleck officially stepped down, had committed to doing the movie. That said, it was noted by Variety that the deal was not done. While it seems unlikely the deal won't get finalized, these negotiations do fall apart sometimes and given the problems this movie has faced so far, it isn't an impossibility. Should that happen, The Hollywood Reporter notes that Ridley Scott is "in the wings" to direct. It is unclear if Warner Bros. has talked to him yet or if he is just a name they are interested in, but the idea of Ridley Scott directing The Batman is surely enough to make any DC fans ears perk up.
THR also indicated that Don't Breathe director Fede Alvarez is also hanging out, waiting for a call if Matt Reeves doesn't wind up directing The Batman. He seems like a more realistic and also probably great choice to direct the movie, but there is no question that Ridley Scott is more surprising and probably much more interesting to fans of Batman. What is most surprising about his name being thrown around is that, Scott recently revealed that he passed on several comic book movies in the past and that he isn't particularly interested in doing a superhero movie. Here is what he had to say.
"[I've been asked] several times, but I can't believe in the thin, gossamer tight-rope of the non-reality of the situation of the superhero. I've done that kind of movie, Blade Runner really is a comic strip when you think about it, it's a dark story told in an unreal world. You could almost put Batman or Superman in that world, that atmosphere, except I'd have a f**king good story, as opposed to no story!"
Recently, it was reported that, after quite a few reported script problems, the most recent draft of The Batman is very solid and made Ben Affleck and Warner Bros. very happy. The most recent rewrite was done by Argo and Justice League scribe Chris Terrio, and it seems like he managed to sort things out. It is unclear if Ridley Scott has seen that script and is actually interested in the take or if Warner Bros. merely feels confident enough in the story to be able to court him to the director's chair. Either Way, THR is a generally very reliable source, so there must be something to the mention of Ridley Scott and Fede Alvarez.
At the moment, Warner Bros. has not set a release date for The Batman, but Ben Affleck is still going to star in and produce the movie, which is expected to shoot sometime this year. Since Ridley Scott has all but finished his work on Alien: Covenant, he would seemingly be free to direct the new solo Batman movie. As for Fede Alvarez, he also could probably make room in his schedule should Warner Bros. give him the call. This could all be for not if Matt Reeves' deal is finalized, which it likely will. Still, it should comfort DCEU fans to know that seemingly every director on the studio's list is very qualified for the job.