Matt Reeves Completely Tossing Out Ben Affleck’s The Batman Script

batman-ben-affleckBy Danny F. Santos (doddleNEWS)

It was pretty shocking news when Ben Affleck dropped out of directing The Batman at the beginning of the year. I personally thought it was a smart move, as I would rather Affleck focus on performance. Not only is the role of playing Batman far more demanding than most of his usual starring in/directorial efforts, but so is directing a superhero movie.

The upside to this is that DC and Warner Bros. were able to hire War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves to helm the project. Reeves has already said that he hopes to deliver a noir-driven film, and we’ve heard that the film will go through a substantial rewrite. Now, in an interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, the director revealed that the screenplay written by Affleck and Geoff Johns has been completely tossed. Here’s what he said:

“No, it’s a new story. It’s just starting again. I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be really cool.”

In another interview, this time with Uproxx, he elaborated on the vision for his project and his approach:

“When I come in, what I say is, ‘Look. First of all, you’re asking me if I’m interested in this franchise. I am. I love this franchise. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. But here’s the way in which I’m interested in it. And if you’re not interested in it in that way, then that’s totally fine.; And the good news was, they said, ‘Yeah, we’re really interested in that way.’

“And I remember this on Dawn, too. There would be moments where I came in for a pitch that was a certain version of the movie, and somewhere along the way, because they didn’t know me or whatever it was, they’d say, ‘Why don’t we do this?’ And I would just simply say, ‘But that’s not the movie that we talked about. That’s not the movie I want to do.’ And I have to say that they always backed down when it came down to that. And it’s kind of the way that I’ve always done it. And here’s the thing: I’m always happy not to do something. I’m usually looking for the reason to say no.”

Interestingly enough, there was a point back in February when Reeves was in negotiations to direct the film, that talks between the director and the studio broke down. From his statements here, it sounds like that might have been the contentious point, and he really has an idea he wants to do — and that he won’t back down from the movie he wants to make.

If we’ve learned anything from Reeves on the Planet of the Apes prequels, it’s that he has incredibly good instincts on how to ground genre films in humanity. Even when the main characters aren’t human.

What is less known is whether Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke will still be a part of Reeves’ film, as he was cast when Affleck was still in charge. His role may have gotten tossed out with the bathwater.

About Danny Santos

Freelance writer, filmmaker, actor, musician, and visual artist. Writing online professionally for 4-plus years and has produced and performed in over a dozen films and webseries. He has also been everything from a social media consultant to managing a JUNO award winning musician.