Last night, shockwaves were sent through the DC Extended Universe when Ben Affleck stepped down as director for The Batman, which is the franchise's first solo film starring the Caped Crusader. The Oscar winner decided it would be better if he put all his efforts and energies into his starring role as Bruce Wayne, as opposed to spreading himself too thin with the monumental responsibilities of calling the shots on the tentpole. Still, many are disappointed Affleck is no longer involved in this capacity, since his filmmaking style seemed to be a perfect fit for the source material. Warner Bros. is now on the hunt for a suitable replacement.
In the wake of the announcement, it was reported Dawn of the Planet of the Apes helmsman Matt Reeves was in the running for the job, and fans were quick to nominate their own picks. A popular choice among viewers is DC super fan Kevin Smith, who has directed multiple episodes in DC's Arrowverse on television. However, Smith will not be making the jump to the big screen, and he's now revealed why that will be.
Responding to a Twitter user's call for Smith to land the Batman job, the filmmaker gave three distinct reasons why he would not be the best choice:
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) January 31, 2017
Film buffs are well aware Affleck and Smith have a long history together, as Affleck appeared in several of Smith's movies, including Mallrats and Chasing Amy. However, it has been a while since the pair was close (which Smith has discussed in the past), so another collaboration seems highly unlikely at this point in time. And while Smith probably knows more about DC lore than most people in the industry, he still has never taken on a project of this magnitude before. Yes, his work on Supergirl and The Flash show he can handle superhero material, but that is arguably a little different from a massive studio tentpole that will probably have a production budget in excess of $100 million. With the DCEU in something of a tight spot (see: The Flash movie's pre-production woes), it would be better for someone with a good amount of experience to take the reins from Affleck.
The original plan was for The Batman to begin filming this year, so it will be interesting to see how that schedule changes now that there currently is not a director in place. Following Affleck's well-received turn in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, the demand for the character's standalone vehicle was high, but it's very important for the studio to take their time and find the right person for the job. Rushing things to meet a pre-determined release date could lead to poor results, and that's the last thing the DCEU needs right now.
Source: Kevin Smith
- Wonder Woman (2017) release date: Jun 02, 2017
- Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Cyborg (2020) release date: Apr 03, 2020
- Green Lantern Corps. (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020