Warner Bros. has experienced a less-than-ideal pre-production process for The Batman. The buzz coming out of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, while mixed overall, pointed to Ben Affleck being the potential saving grace of the newly established DCEU — as not only an actor, but director as well. Though he’s since dropped out of the director’s spot, Affleck is still attached to star in and produce the film, as Matt Reeves has officially been brought on to direct.
Reeves’ involvement was far from a sure thing just a few days ago. While the initial reports pointed to a deal being all but a formality, as talks continued, Reeves and Warner Bros. were reportedly at odds and the studio saw their frontrunner ready to walk. According to a new report, Reeves’ issue had to do with creative freedom.
As reported by Splash Report, Reeves wanted complete creative control over the project (similar to what James Wan appears to have with Aquaman) and Warners was hesitant to do so with a script by Terrio, Affleck, and DC Entertainment head Geoff Johns already in place. Following the negotiations that saw him officially sign on to the project, Reeves now reportedly has “the final say on all things The Batman.”
With this control and freedom, Reeves has the ability to make the movie he intends and does not have to worry about the studio demanding changes. As he’s shown with both Cloverfield and the Planet of the Apes franchise, Reeves has the ability to craft complex, detailed worlds and it will be interesting to see him do the same with something like The Batman.
Given the critical reception to most of the DCEU’s early outings, landing a director with Reeves’ small but successful track record was likely an important step for the studio to take. That would explain the willingness by the powers that be to hand over creative control on a franchise this recognizable and potentially lucrative, as it may result in a film that performs well at the box office and with critics. Whether or not Reeves’ vision for the film includes possible re-writes on the most recent draft of the script remains to be seen, but now that the film appears to be on the right track again, more information regarding where it’s headed will likely emerge.
Hopefully, this means Warners and Reeves are on the same page and have found a way for Reeves to enact his creative vision while also helping build the DCEU at large.
Source: Splash Report