Ben Affleck is no longer directing The Batman. That has led to a lot of conversation, not only surrounding that project, but the DC Extended Universe as a whole. The move was made in order to best serve the upcoming standalone Batman movie, according to both Warner Bros. and Affleck, who wants to be able to dedicate himself to the performance. We have known for a while that he has been working on The Batman script, but it turns out that Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League writer Chris Terrio did a rewrite on the movie.
There was a ton of media coverage, as one would expect, when it was officially announced that Ben Affleck is not going to direct The Batman. In Deadline's report, it has been revealed that Chirs Terrio, who has worked a lot with Ben Affleck in the past, perhaps most notably on his Best Picture winner Argo, just turned in a rewritten draft of the screenplay. Here is what Deadline had to say about it.
"Affleck, who most recently helmed Live by Night, wrote the script with Geoff Johns, and a rewrite was just turned in by Chris Terrio, the Oscar-winning scribe of the Affleck-directed Argo."
Warner Bros. most definitely seems to like Chris Terrio and has quite a bit of confidence in his ability, he did write on an Oscar-winning drama, after all. But the fact that he wrote Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice may be less encouraging to those who didn't enjoy that movie, and there were quite a few people that didn't enjoy that movie. It has also been reported that Warner Bros. and Ben Affleck have been unhappy with the script for The Batman for weeks, so that is probably why Chris Terrio did a pass on it. Assuming Deadline is correct, he just turned in his draft so it is possible he got it a little closer to where it needs to be.
On paper, this sounds like a great thing. The script for this solo Batman movie now has two Academy Award winning screenwriters and Geoff Johns, who wrote a ton of beloved DC Comics and is the head of the DCEU, working on the screenplay. There is definitely a lot of talent involved on the writing side of things, but it could also run the risk of becoming a "too many cooks in the kitchen" situation.
For now, Ben Affleck intends to still star in and produce The Batman and collaborate with whoever Warner Bros. hires to direct the movie. At the moment, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is the rumored frontrunner. It was reported that there is a chance, albeit a very small chance, that Affleck could wind up walking away from the movie altogether. Again, that is unlikely, but it is reportedly a possibility. It is also possible that bringing on a new director who can focus all of their time on The Batman is just what the movie needs to get the train back on the tracks.
We will next see Ben Affleck as the caped crusader in the first Justice League movie, which is due out on November 17. Warner Bros. has not yet set a release date for The Batman, but it is expected to shoot sometime this year. Joe Manganiello is attached to play the villain Deathstroke, with J.K. Simmons set to play Commissioner Gordon and Jeremy Irons returning to play Alfred. Matt Reeves is said to be on the short list to direct. It may or may not be in theaters in 2018. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more details become available.