Ever since Ben Affleck made his debut as The Dark Knight in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC fans have been waiting to see his own, standalone film as the character, currently titled The Batman. However, the film hit an unfortunate snag this week when it was announced that Affleck would no longer be directing The Batman, much to the dismay and disappointment of his fans. Instead, he will still star in it, produce it, and continue working on the script, presumably alongside DC Entertainment president, Geoff Johns.
Ever since the news of Affleck’s departure came out, multiple different names of filmmakers have been reported to be in talks to replace him, with War for the Planet of the Apes‘ Matt Reeves reportedly being one of the frontrunners. Still, that hasn’t stopped fans and even other filmmakers from sharing their choices to direct the film. Today, though, a vocal new faction of fans have decided who they want to direct The Batman, picking a name already immensely familiar to DC fans.
In a new petition posted to Change.org (h/t ScreenGeek), fans are calling for Batman v Superman and Justice League director Zack Snyder to be chosen by Warner Bros. as Affleck’s replacement. The petition’s creator, Jennifer Huneycutt calls the decision a “no brainer” due to Snyder’s “stellar record” adapting comic book and graphic novel properties. Additionally, Huneycutt claims having Snyder direct the film would help to bring a consistency and continuity to the DCEU, thanks to his familiarity with the world, characters, and inherent darkness of the Batman character. Started just recently, the petition already has 996 signatures.
Now, there’s no doubt this will be a controversial choice amongst both diehard DC fans and comic book fans in general. Snyder’s films in the DCEU have been divisive, to say the least, with both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman having its fair share of both defenders and haters. In fact, one of the biggest reasons fans are looking forward to this summer’s Wonder Woman standalone film is because it’ll give another filmmaker (Patty Jenkins) the chance to use the character in a film. Huneycutt’s argument that Snyder directing The Batman in order to retain a certain continuity between movies thus seems a bit strange – since the DCEU is just on the brink of having a whole slew of new films, directed by other talented filmmakers that aren’t Snyder.
But where Snyder has his naysayers, the filmmaker also has a large amount of fans who have been receptive to his directorial decisions within the DCEU so far; and he does have a level of familiarity with The Dark Knight that none of the other rumored or suggested names do. That said, the filmmaker is currently set to begin work on an original dramatic thriller, The Last Photograph, right after he finishes Justice League, which could make him doing The Batman difficult from a scheduling perspective alone. After spending so many years working within the DCEU as well, Snyder is likely eager to play around with some original titles again, which means it’s entirely possible that he wouldn’t be interested in directing The Batman, even if he was given the chance. It’s difficult to know, and at this point, The Batman‘s future remains as dark and mysterious as the Gotham City streets that The Dark Knight himself operates in.