Reeves, best known for his work on Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, first came attached to the Caped Crusader’s solo outing last week, before negotiations ultimately unraveled. That left The Batman in quite the precarious position, with sources claiming the Ben Affleck, having bowed out of directing duties, was eager to exit the project altogether. Alas, Reeves has officially pulled a U-turn in what ought to be one of, if not the final twist in the saga.
Warner’s press release goes on to trumpet the “crown jewel” of the DC slate, along with a statement from Matt Reeves about his excitement to dive right in, both of which you can find below. Conspicuous by his absence? Ben Affleck, who isn’t mentioned whatsoever in the studio’s official text. Now, you might say that today’s announcement is more concerned with the back-end of the project, considering Reeves has signed on to direct and produce, but the fact that Affleck – the lead star and arguably one of the cornerstones/mascots of Warner’s superhero franchise – isn’t name-checked once is rather telling.
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Does this signal that the actor’s days in the cape and cowl are numbered? It’s certainly possible. Last week Screen Geek unearthed a rumor claiming that if Matt Reeves was to sign along the dotted line, he’ll be a major presence in The Batman‘s casting process, starting with the most important coup of all: an actor to take up the mantle from Affleck. Now that the former is officially on board – and not a moment too soon – don’t be too surprised if WB unveils the tenth iteration of Bruce Wayne/Batman before long.
But let’s not let speculation get out of hand. For now, here’s the official word from Toby Emmerich, President and Chief Content Officer at Warner Bros.:
“We are thrilled to have Matt Reeves taking the helm of Batman, the crown jewel of our DC slate. Matt’s deep roots in genre films and his evolution into an emotional world-building director make him the perfect filmmaker to guide the Dark Knight through this next journey.”
Bouncing off that, Matt Reeves’ statement reads as so:
Matt Reeves noted, “I have loved the Batman story since I was a child. He is such an iconic and compelling character, and one that resonates with me deeply. I am incredibly honored and excited to be working with Warner Bros. to bring an epic and emotional new take on the Caped Crusader to the big screen.”
So, there you have it; Matt Reeves has been drafted in to direct and produce The Batman – and, frankly, to steady the ship. But what are your early thoughts on his appointment? Let us know in the usual place.