Ben Affleck’s hardened, older take on the Caped Crusader in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is an element that both fans and detractors of the film seem to appreciate, if only in terms of his potential in future DC Extended Universe films. Affleck has already reprised his (extra) Dark Knight since then in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad and will return in a leading capacity later this year, in Zack Snyder’s Justice League movie. The character is also lined up to star in his own solo DCEU movie tentatively titled The Batman: a project that has gone through some much-publicized creative personnel changes of late.
Affleck spent much of the past year lined up to direct The Batman from a script that he co-wrote with DC Entertainment President Geoff Johns, but recently announced that he is stepping down as director, rather than attempting to handle the entire blockbuster on his own. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves now appears to be all but officially confirmed to direct The Batman in Affleck’s place – but there are replacements waiting in the wings (no Bat-pun intended), should some unforeseen complication in Reeves’ dealmaking process arise.
THR‘s own report about Reeves unofficially committing to directing The Batman and entering official talks for the job, contains a little tidbit about who else is on Warner Bros. and DC’s shortlist to take the helm. The site not only mentions Evil Dead (2013) and Don’t Breathe helmsman Fede Alvarez as a possibility but perhaps even more intriguingly, the legendary Alien and Blade Runner filmmaker Sir Ridley Scott himself is identified as being another legitimate contender for the job.
The mere possibility of Scott directing The Batman is all the more unexpected because it was less than two months ago (at the time of writing this) that Scott reiterated his longstanding disinterest towards the comic book superhero movie genre in general. Scott at the time also mentioned that the Blade Runner universe was, in term of its stylistic elements especially, akin to the heightened reality of a comic book film and that if a character such as Batman were ever featured in one of his film’s worlds, “I’d have a f**king good story, as opposed to no story!”
No doubt, there are Batman and/or DCEU fans out there who would be interested in seeing Scott bring the Noir-influenced aesthetic of Blade Runner to the DCEU in The Batman, not least of all because Affleck has indicated the film will focus heavily on the Dark Knight’s qualities as a detective. Scott’s potential involvement also indicates that he is either interested in The Batman story that Affleck, Johns and co-writer Chris Terrio have in place, or that those at WB and DC believe the current script draft is strong enough to entice Scott to climb onboard the superhero comic book bandwagon, at long last.
That being said, The Batman directing job is still Reeves’ to lose by most accounts and THR‘s own report states that the film’s script may or may not undergo a “significant revision,” depending on how things shake out. If nothing else though, the mention of Scott as a serious contender to direct the movie is worth contemplating, if only as a “What if?” type scenario.