Even though Wonder Woman and Justice League will be the DC Extended Universe’s next installments, all the recent noise has been about a different film: The Batman. Coverage of Ben Affleck’s relationship with the film has been all over the place, but he made one thing clear every step of the way: his goal is making a great Batman movie. As the scheduled start date for production began to loom, Affleck remained passionate about the project, but started to voice concerns over the workload of serving as writer, director, producer, and lead for a blockbuster movie.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was the first modern blockbuster Affleck has been involved with, and he said he learned a ton from Zack Snyder on set. Since then, Affleck has donned the cape and cowel again for an even bigger blockbuster, Justice League, and between juggling his responsibilities to the DCEU and writing, directing, and starring in his own project, Live by Night, Affleck likely got a glimpse of what was in store for him if he didn’t bring in help for The Batman. It’s likely Live by Night’s $75 million loss educated that decision as well. His statement on the matter of The Batman is fairly clear:
“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.”
News of Affleck’s departure has been spread far and wide, but one detail seemed to get overlooked from Deadline‘s coverage: the script for The Batman got a rewrite from Chris Terrio. This marks the 3rd DCEU script to get the Oscar-winner’s treatment. Like everything in the DCEU this news will likely receive a split reaction from fans, as not everyone was impressed with Terrio’s screenplay for Batman V Superman.
While it’s understandable that not all fans will take this news positively, it’s important to note that this means the screenplay for The Batman will be a collaboration of two Oscar-winners and the President and CCO of DC Comics. It’s likely that there’s no other comic book movie that has had so much talent focused on its screenplay. Combined with the patience Affleck has shown in ensuring the script ready before rushing into production, this news means The Batman should at the very least have a rock solid screenplay. If it doesn’t, DC and Warner Bros. won’t have any excuses.
Since Terrio is an Affleck collaborator – he got his Oscar working on Argo – this may provide additional insight into just how much Affleck is owning on the production of The Batman. If Affleck’s decision to bring in another director truly allows him to give his best performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman, then whoever he brings in will have their work cut out for them with a quality screenplay and an energized lead.