WASHINGTON, January 31, 2017 – A new statement by Ben Affleck has the public buzzing about ‘The Batman.” After weeks of public speculation, Affleck announced he will not direct ‘The Batman,’ the Warner Brothers solo Batman movie sequel to the Justice League.
The announcement came after a December statement from Affleck that he would not participate in the film if the script was “not good enough.” Fans are now wondering if a dismal script is coming down the pipe.
This decision is only the latest difficulty for Warner Bros. in their extended comic book universe. Film maker Zack Snyder’s particular style has soured with audiences since 300, and the promise of David Ayer’s distinct military style in Suicide Squad ended up as a big joke. With Wonder Woman and Justice League coming out soon, the studio is running out of time to fix the franchise.
DC and Warner Brothers seem to be aware of the problem and are trying to take action to correct it. Last year, they brought in Geoff Johns to co-run DC Films. Since then there’s been much speculation about Johns’ role as Snyder’s professional baby-sitter. Regardless of the rationale for bringing in Johns, the combination of Johns and Affleck seemed like the level of talent required to fix the DC Extended Universe.
Ironically, the DCEU had promised to be easy for directors. The executives at Warner Bros. said they wanted to build a sandbox by establishing rules for the universe. Once they had, any director would be free to join in and play in it. But more and more, it seems that by “any director,” Warner Bros. meant “Zack Snyder.”
So it seems that it all comes down to Wonder Woman, as if there wasn’t already enough pressure on the first female superhero movie. Patty Jenkins’ film will need the strength of Hercules if it hopes to prop up the entire DCEU. The trailer looks entertaining, but the film will have to be outstanding for audiences to have any interest in Justice League come the Fall.
It is impossible to know what will happen if the tent does end up folding in. Warner Bros. is in various stages of development on DC films past 2020, so the stakes seem too high to bail now.
But when the star of your most popular movie refuses to direct it, it’s time to reevaluate at the very least.