The WB seemingly continues to struggle with keeping it’s talent bound to their directorial duties, be it for scheduling conflicts or just conflicts of creative interest and while it seemed at least a sure thing that Ben Affleck would stay committed to directing the upcoming Batman solo movie that he’d be starring in, it was announced yesterday that he would be stepping down. After abysmal reviews and a near catastrophic box office for his latest film Live By Night, perhaps he’s just a touch burnt out.
Speculation for a later date.
In the meantime, check out who we here thought would be fitting choices to take on the Dark Knight. Let us know in the comments below who you’d like to see take over.
Ok, can we be real for a second? Warner Bros’ DC cinematic universe is garbage. Hot garbage. Unsalvageable garbage, at this point. We all pointed the finger at Zack Snyder as being the garbage man, but Suicide Squad came out and since Snyder didn’t direct that trash, we know now that he’s not the source of the garbage. WB is.
So you know what, why not let Snyder just make the Batman movie too? Screw it, right? How bad can he really make it compared to Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice? Haven’t we gotten to the point yet where we all know what we’re getting out of a DC film? It’s going to be a hot mess of non-fleshed-out characters, disjointed plot threads and hackneyed dialogue broken up with stylized punchfest action sequences that will lend themselves to good YouTube clips a few months after the blu-ray comes out. Snyder is the epitome of style over substance, and say what you want about the guy, but he can at least deliver on some badass eye-candy shots (that’s how he’s able to trick us with a tantalizing trailer every time). So come on, WB, just put Snyder back at the helm and give us two hours of Ben Affleck punching thugs in slow motion, because that’s the only enjoyment we can get out of you trash people anyway. – Alexander Suffolk
With all of the wonderful, female lead horror movies coming out in recent years, why not allow one of those talented filmmakers take on the solo Batman project, especially if WB is trying to keep with the somber tone that Snyder cast for all proceeding films? Jennifer Kent, the director of the fabulously upsetting The Babadook was heralded as one to watch upon the films release and where her male counterparts would have been boosted into the big leagues following such a success, she pursued similar indie fare. With her inventive approach to shooting horror and suspense, she could create a world as close to the visual appearance of the comic books themselves than any film in the franchise has thus far. – Allyson Johnson
In fairness, anytime ANY film comes up in need of a director I’m just about shouting at the top of my lungs for Jennifer Phang to be considered due to remarkable and still largely overlooked 2015 film Advantageous. With a keen eye for simplistic beauty and slightly futuristic settings, presenting a world just far removed enough from ours to play out in an unsettling fashion, she might be an off kilter choice as a director but with her style and dexterity behind the lens she could create something transcendent. A character known for his doom and gloom (at least in the film adaptations) Phang could keep a hold of that signature darkness while simultaneously injecting a sense of greater thematic exploration as we take a closer look at what makes the man under the cape and cowl tick. – Allyson Johnson
One of the main problems with the modern superhero movie is that they’re all VERY similar to each other with regards to story beats and aesthetic choices. If the DC film universe wants to set the Ben Affleck Batman movie apart from the 10+ other live action/animated Batman movies, they’re going to need to do something radically different and create a departure from what’s become the norm. My answer? Get Julie Taymor to direct. She already has experience translating comics to a different medium, as shown by the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. But more importantly, Taymor would bring style to a genre that’s definitely lacking in it. Taymor’s filmography is known for it’s striking visuals, lush colors, and bold choices, pushing the envelope as far as possible. Imagine a Batman film that combines the aesthetics of Across the Universe with the hyperviolence of Titus, a Batman film that revels in the excesses of Gotham and the innate camp of the concept. Even if it turns out to be awful, it’ll certainly breathe some much-needed new life into the genre. – Katie Gill
Alfonso Cuaron might just be one of our most versatile directors working today and he hardly gets enough credit for that fact alone. Having directed epic science fiction, fantasy book adaptations of mystical coming of age stories, he’s dabbled in just about every major genre and one he’s yet to touch is the superhero blockbuster, something that with the right character he could excel with. Think Batman but in a world that has an atmosphere more closely linked with Children of Men than with anything Snyder or Christopher Nolan has created thus far. The grittiness that these films so desperately want to capture will stay but now with an auteur behind the camera. – Allyson Johnson
After passive aggressively threatening to leave on Jimmy Fallon, it looks like Ben Affleck has kept his word and left the directing chair for his solo Batman movie (what a big surprise). There are so many potential blockbuster directors to take his place, but Warner Brothers should go with a director who knows how to bring both a great story and visuals to the screen: Denis Villeneuve. Ever since his film Incendies got nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars, Villeneuve has become one of the most in demand directors in Hollywood.
He would be a great fit for Batman because he has worked primarily in genre films. People love Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight because it doesn’t feel like a typical superhero film; The story and characters are so rich and focuses on the tension between The Joker and Bruce Wayne. Villeneuve has already accomplished this in previous films, but it’s even more ambitious in his most recent film, Arrival. Moviegoers thought Arrival was going to be an explosion-heavy science fiction film, but instead, it was a slow burn that focused on character.
Batman has always been a layered character and needs a director who will do him justice. In his previous films, characters such as Alejandro and Keller Dover have good intentions but fulfill them in questionable ways. If Villeneuve can capture Batman the way that he has with those characters, then he could make a great Batman movie. – Yasmin Kleinbart