Warner Bros. sent shockwaves through the internet when they announced that Ben Affleck would no longer direct The Batman. It wasn’t terribly surprising, given how hesitant he’s been about taking on the job, but everyone assumed that he’d be able to work out his differences with the studio and come to an agreement that he felt comfortable with. It turns out though that Big Ben just couldn’t get on board with the script and so, he pulled out of the director’s chair.
Now, the search is on to find a replacement and fanboys have been extremely vocal in regards to both who they do and don’t want to see take the job. We’ve heard that names like Matt Reeves and George Miller are being eyed, among others, but Warner Bros. still hasn’t made an official announcement, and may not for some time. Until they do, speculation will continue to run rampant and today, one loyal DC fan has put forth Zack Snyder as a potential choice for Affleck’s replacement, and makes an impassioned case as to why the director should step in here.
The petition, which can be found on Change.org, says the following in regards to why the Dawn of Justice helmer should get behind the camera for The Batman:
On Tuesday, we received the news that Ben Affleck has officially stepped down from directing The Batman. It’s a disappointment, since he’s a fantastic director. While he’s only been behind the lens on a handful of films, they’re pretty much all critical darlings, with a slew of Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and other nominations and wins. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo are a few examples of his directing prowess. He was going to bring something really special to the DCEU, and now it’s not going to be quite the same. (However, he is still starring, writing, and producing. It’s this wearing of too many hats that caused him to step down.)
So. The film will still have a lot of his influence, which is good news. However, the question now becomes: Who should be in the director’s chair when cameras start rolling on The Batman?
To me, the answer is obvious – Zack Snyder.
Pipe down, haters. Hear me out here. Snyder has a stellar record with comic book and graphic novel properties. Starting with 2006’s 300, and followed by Watchmen in 2009, he has shown his skill with, and commitment to, being incredibly faithful to iconic source material. Many scenes in both films are panel-for-panel recreations of the graphic novel pages. He doesn’t try to stick his two cents’ worth in every movie, putting his own spin on things (they like to call it “artistic license” in the biz) just because he can. He knows how much these stories mean to their fans, and that goes a long way in my book. He has my respect for that.
Another reason is continuity. Aside from the abysmal Suicide Squad, Snyder is pretty much in the driver’s seat for the whole DCEU. He directed Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; and is also slated for Justice League: Parts 1 & 2. So it only makes sense to let him remain in control, for the sake of the integrity of the film universe itself. Having a bunch of different directors work on a single series is just asking for trouble, both in continuity and in the dreaded “creative differences.” (Yes, it has mostly worked for Marvel, but the MCU is lightning in a bottle. Let’s not pretend that makes it a foolproof formula.) He’s already familiar with all the principal characters and their respective portrayers, so he isn’t going to go screwing with established canon or pissing off his stars.
Finally, there’s his style, visually and tonally. He’s created a beautifully dark DCEU, and populated it with characters and stories who fit the narrative perfectly. Some may not care for the darkness he’s brought to the founders of the Justice League, but I would advise those people to read more comics. Batman is an incredibly dark character (they don’t call him The Dark Knight for nothing, you know), and Snyder’s unique vision for his films is perfect for the tragic tale of Bruce Wayne – even more so for this Bruce Wayne, the harder, more vengeful version he becomes after the death of Jason Todd. His world simply isn’t a light and happy place. Gotham City seems to live entirely by night (no pun intended), and this makes him a perfect fit.
Really, it’s a no-brainer. Zack Snyder’s commitment to source material, extraordinary visual style, and previous experience in the DCEU makes him the ideal candidate, especially when you factor in the influence Ben Affleck is still going to have on the film’s story and dialogue. The two working together just might make the best comic book film we’ve seen yet.
Whether you agree with all of that or not – and we imagine that most people don’t – you have to hand it to this no doubt diehard fan, as they present some good points. Even if popular opinion might say otherwise. Then again, the divisive director’s done some solid work outside of the DCEU and definitely has talent, so perhaps he shouldn’t be totally written off.
Given the horrible response to Batman V Superman though, we can’t see Warner Bros. choosing Snyder to replace Affleck. Not only would it cause an absolute uproar and quite possibly some kind of boycott or revolt, but the DC Extended Universe really needs some fresh blood, despite what this petition says.
Even if Justice League turns out to be a massive hit which, let’s face it, is a long shot, the studio would be wise to get someone new behind the camera for The Batman. And quite honestly, we’d rather see almost any of the other names on the rumored shortlist take the job over Snyder.
But who knows? At the moment, we have no indication as to who WB may go with and while Zack Snyder hasn’t been mentioned yet, he could very well end up with the job. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it doesn’t happen, but while we wait to hear more, tell us, who do you want to see direct The Batman? Sound off in the usual spot and give us your pick!