Matt Reeves Exits Negotiations To Direct ‘The Batman’

BatmanAfter last week’s announcement, it was revealed today that Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes) has exited negotiations and won’t be directing the untitled Batman film for Warner Bros. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while negotiations have ended, they could resume “when heads cool”. The initial announcement last Friday included Ridley Scott (The Martian) and Fede Alvarez (Don’t Breathe) being considered by Warner Bros for the directing gig.

Ben Affleck, who portrays Batman in the DC Films, was originally going to direct the solo film, but announced recently that he had stepped down as director of the movie.

“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

The untitled Batman solo film, which stars Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Joe Manganiello as Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth, has yet to be given a release date. The screenplay was written by Affleck and Geoff Johns, co-head of the DC Films and president of DC Entertainment.

Are you disappointed about Matt Reeves not joining the DC Extended Universe? With Reeves out, who would you like to see direct the film? Sound off in the comments below.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht

Andy Behbakht is an online entertainment journalist who has been covering television and movies since 2010. In addition, he is also a podcast producer.

  • gooched

    Does this mean that Ridley Scott has the job?

  • Marquis de Sade

    is there any way to respond to this other than: “BWAHAHAHA!”

    • Axxell

      Be sensitive to Sammy; he can hear you all the way over on that corner he curled up in…

  • Max Irons

    That’s horrible for DC.

  • Origami Rose

    Ahahaha!

  • Carl

    I literally laughed out loud at this.

  • Jo Hunter

    It looks like DC haters and Marvel dickriders follow this more closely than fans, to have a laugh when things don’t work out.

    You guys need to get a life. This is obviously disappointing to some people so I don’t see how it could be funny.

    • Marquis de Sade

      Hilarity always ensues when dceu continues to get their CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES on…and not to mention, revelin’ in the pain and disappointment of you dceu fangurls is an added bonus.

    • SAMURAI36

      These idiots were losing sleep at night, when Marvel was losing directors left and right. They were twisting their brains in knots, in order to come up with justifications for it.

      • Axxell

        LOL! “Marvel was losing directors left and right”?…When did that happen, genius?

        • Marquis de Sade

          Yeah, you gotta love how sammy-rai be pullin’ these ALTERNATIVE “NON” FACTS out of his azzz by way of ego-defense.

        • breakerbaker

          Marvel had a few carousels going early on. Thor 2 went through two or three directors before production began. This was followed pretty quickly by the Ant Man saga, which involved Wright’s ouster and a list of some of the least inspired names to replace him. That basically coincided with/was immediately followed by the Whedon drama. Generally, there was a fair bit of turmoil in Phase 2 of the MCU. The difference between that and what is happening in hen DCEU is that this turmoil seems to be hitting virtually every DC project and there’s not a foundation of goodwill that WB or DC can rely on, so each of these moves feel more panicked and like a sign of impending implosion, which it never really reached in the case of Marvel.

          • Axxell

            Well that’s a far cry from saying “Marvel was losing directors left and right”…

          • breakerbaker

            In retrospect sure, but that was the perception at the time. Remember: the MCU didn’t really take off until Avengers. Other than Iron Man and Avengers, the MCU wasn’t capturing the broader audience’s imagination (I still think the first CA is the best movie from Phase I, but it, Thor, Incredible Hulk and IM2 were all considered to be critical and/or box office disappointments). Phase II comprised IM3, Thor 2, Winter Soldier, AoU and Ant Man. Two of those five movies lost directors because of studio meddling. One kept it’s director but only after enduring a ton of friction between the director and studio, which came to a head as the movie was finally released and found to be kind of muddled.

            A few years and an entire Phase of the MCU later, those feel like minor bumps in the road. It was a big deal at the time. More than half of the films in Phase II either lost directors or soured the studio’s golden boy on working together on films in the future.

          • breakerbaker

            It occurs to me that I forgot to include GotG. That was an honest mistake and not an attempt to downplay what became an enormously successful movie, which was also part of Phase II.

          • Carl

            Not quite accurate. Thor 2 was originally going to be directed by Thor Director Kenneth Branagh. He withdrew, others were considered but Alan Taylor was chosen. Ant Man was no saga. Wright dropped out due to creative differences then Peyton Reed was chosen out of a few possibilities. Joss Whedon Directed both Avengers movies and was never slated for any others. He was worn out by the process but has said he’d be open to direct a Black Widow movie.

          • breakerbaker

            Patty Jenkins was actually hired to direct Thor: Dark World. It was actually a pretty big deal at the time: Marvel had hired a female director of an Academy Award winning film to helm Thor. People were excited. It was in preproduction. I can’t remember if Brian Kirk was ever offered the job or if it was just “talks.” But Jenkins had the job. Taylor was at least the third guy attached to that movie. Marvel pushing Wright out of the movie he had been working on for the better part of a decade just so that the studio could force a few MCU crossover bits was actually a pretty big controversy at the time, especially when they compounded the issue by trying to replace an incredibly unique director with a handful of guys who had never done anything of value as film directors and seemed to make the list based on how easily they could be manipulated by the studio. It was a big deal. In fact, it was around this time that Snyder started a bunch of backhanded trash talk (which seems pretty ironic in retrospect) about how WB was such an easy studio for directors to work with and how the DCEU was going to give the directors so much freedom to make *their* movie.

            I’m not endorsing that Marvel was losing directors left and right, but there was that perception for about a year and a half–culminating with Whedon’s really poor press tour for AoU followed almost immediately by his departure from the MCU. It’s just that a lot of it seems to have been overblown. Sure, the movies that lost directors and/or led to friction between the studio and the director were some of the least compelling of the MCU, but they were still “okay.” At this point, it’s not even clear that the DCEU movies that keep losing directors will even get made. That never felt like a plausible concern in the MCU.

          • Carl

            Yes I got it wrong. Branagh was never hired to direct Thor 2. Marvel wanted him back be he chose to work on a TV series and just move on. Patty was hired and left due to “creative differences”. So they lost one director on Thor 2. (Seems like they dodged a bullet too because Patty is an inexperienced Director)

            As far as the Ant-Man story goes, I would have liked to have Wright stay on but so much had changed since he first developed the idea. The entire MCU was born in that time frame. He didn’t want to play ball so he got the boot. That was the right decision. Wright still got credit for the movie.

          • breakerbaker

            Mind you, I don’t care one way or the other. I’m not endorsing the “losing directors left and right” sentiment, but it is true that there was that perception in Phase II–that Marvel didn’t value quality directors and was losing the opportunity to make special movies because of it. To a certain degree, part of that perception remains, but I think most of the audience has come to accept Marvel’s somewhat homogenized vision for what it is (personally, I was always of the opinion that it was the smart/safe way to go, though I do think that if WB had actually followed through on letting the directors find their own story, that could have been a higher reward type of payoff). Still, three or four years ago, there was anxiety.

          • Carl

            I never bought into any anxiety over Marvel’s Directors. Phase 1 was solid and Phase 2 had 2 changes but also their the best direction came out of it with the Russos and James Gunn. The risk they take is the continued universe that is a very difficult undertaking with high reward.

          • Axxell

            Marvel never did hide the fact that the direction of the MCU was dictated by Feige and the producers, not the directors (though they did have some creative input). Only WB and the DC fanboys had a vested interest in making the DCCU look better in comparison, by taking shots at Marvel while putting themselves at the pedestal of directorial freedom, only for them to turn back a while later and do the exact same thing Marvel does, only worse.

          • breakerbaker

            Actually, that’s not true. Yeah, Feige has always had a guiding hand in all projects, but no studio ever comes out and says that the professional directors they’re paying to direct films are on a short leash. In fact, when all of this was going on, Feige went very much on the defensive and insisted that every director in the MCU put a very specific and personal spin on the movies–and he had a relatively good argument to make with some of them. But it was totally damage control.

          • Axxell

            Key phrase is “personal spin”…he wasn’t trying to say directors could do whatever the he11 they wanted, like WB was trying to convince people of.

            In the end, Whedon, Favreau, Gunn and the Russos added their own flavor to the movies, but they all ended up where Feige intended them to.

          • breakerbaker

            This is such a silly point to be arguing about. Feige pushed Wright out of Ant-Man, a movie that would have never been made if not for Wright, because Feige didn’t think you could make an MCU movie without a hamfisted tie-in to the Avengers. He then forced an entire top-down rewrite and replaced Wright with a director of bad romantic comedies. And it was at this point that he decided to brag about how unique each of the different movies were, when the reality is that it’s their sameness that makes them work in a lot of ways. And remember: I genuinely don’t care. I think Marvel made a smart business decision when they decided to homogenize their universe. It was probably smart to push Wright out, too. But you can’t listen to their marketing or damage control and then repeat it as though they’re being honest with you. They’re telling you what they want you to believe. And “personal spin” was my phrase, so it can’t be all that key.

          • Axxell

            I never said Feige used those exact words…It’s the meaning that is the key. Marvel movies do share a common storyarc from Ironman to Captain America: First Avenger to Captain America: Winter Soldier to Guardians of the Galaxy, but saying they’re all the same is just a blind reach.

            And using the Antman production story really does nothing to prove your point…Did Marvel not make it clear from the beginning that this was gonna be an interconnected cinematic universe? If Wright goes against that and gets fired because of it (among other things), does that mean directors have NO creative input? That’s absurd. It’s like a child complaining that his parents don’t give him freedom to be who he is, just because they won’t let him do drugs. All Feige asked was for the story to connect to the MCU; Wright wanted to do his own Antman comedy independent from the franchise, and so he was let go.

    • Axxell

      I honestly don’t care. I just find it funny on account of all the DC fanboys who bragged about how much more “director-friendly” WB was than Marvel. The irony is, as they say, delicious.

      • Jo Hunter

        It’s no secret that WB isn’t very director-friendly, but there is such a thing as blowing things out of proportion. Joss Whedon quits the MCU and no one bats an eyelash. Matt Reeves didn’t finish final negotiations and everybody loses their minds!

        • Marquis de Sade

          Yeah, after doin’ two movies with a combined gross of $2.9 Billion+…And he didn’t quit, he merely moved on after fulfilling his contractual obligations…Trust, if Joss decides to revisit his relationship with MCU, I’m sure Kevin Feige will accept him with open arms.

          • Jo Hunter

            Yeah? Well, if I were Feige I wouldn’t want him back unless he acknowledges Coulson is alive and well in the entire MCU, not just in AOS 😀

          • Marquis de Sade

            Yeah, well thank merciful Zeus you ain’t Kevin Feige…Now accept the fact you’re championing a losing cause that’s a year or less from imploding, dceu fangurl. BWAHAHAHA.

            MAKE MINE MARVEL!

        • Axxell

          Marvel ain’t the one bragging about being an auteur director’s paradise…

    • “I react to disappointment by lashing out at people.”

  • JMMagwood

    Sigh. That sucks.

  • Darthmanwe

    oh good god, I’m just exhausted now…. Freaking stop trying to make batman happen and focus on Flash and aquaman ffs.