While the LEGO version of the Caped Crusader continues to knock out the competition at the box office, the live action version currently in development at Warner Bros. is on the ropes and may be going down for the count.
The Batman started to show signs of stress back in December when Ben Affleck, who at the time was slated to co-write (with Geoff Johns), direct, and star in the movie, began dodging questions about the progress of the script. The project took a nasty blow last month when Affleck said that he would no longer be directing the movie but that he was still “extremely committed” to it. After it was revealed last week that the Affleck-Johns script that had been rewritten by Chris Terrio (Argo) might be hitting the dust bin in favor of a page-one rewrite, rumors began swirling that Affleck was done with the Dark Knight altogether.
Despite all of this turmoil, there was some hope that The Batman could get back on its feet when it was revealed that Matt Reeves was in talks to direct and possibly rewrite the script. Reeves did a masterful job with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which he wrote and directed, elevating the franchise in unexpected ways and earning it both critical acclaim and box office success. A director with his passion and vision at the helm would have been a windfall for the solo flick.
Unfortunately, it appears as if The Batman is not getting back on its feet anytime soon. According to THR, negotiations with Warner Bros. have “broken down” and Reeves has “exited the talks” about directing the movie. It could be that the time table just doesn’t work out for Reeves considering he is currently in post-production on War for the Planet of the Apes, but that leaves The Batman without a script, without a director, and (seemingly) without an actor that really wants to wear the cape and cowl past his appearance in Justice League.