The DC Extended Universe may have taken a big step in the right direction with Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, but there's still a long road ahead for the superhero movie division at Warner Bros. One of the franchise's most troubled projects has been, ironically enough, one of its most anticipated, The Batman. Following Ben Affleck's departure as director, the film found a new helmer in Matt Reeves.
Sadly, the project has hit more speed bumps. While the creative minds behind the project have assured fans the film is well underway, the various delays and the lack of a release date has had the fandom worried about the film's future. Were these struggles telling us #BruceWayne would simply not get his chance to fly solo in the DCEU?
Fortunately, it doesn't look like that's the case. A great piece of news now hints at the movie having a much stronger creative structure than we thought.
A New Direction For The Caped Crusader
#MattReeves made an appearance on MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast. There, he revealed a surprising bit of information: The original The Batman script written by Geoff Johns, Ben Affleck and #ChrisTerrio had been scrapped. Instead, Reeves is starting from scratch with a whole new story:
"It's a new story. It's just starting again. I'm excited about it. I think it's going to be really cool."
Wow. That leaves us with a whole lot of questions, the main one being whether #JoeManganiello will still be a part of the project. Interestingly enough, he expressed doubt regarding his part a few months ago. Now, keep in mind, there's very little information at our disposal regarding the story to make an educated guess. So instead let's focus on how things got to this point. It may be difficult to believe that #GeoffJohns and Ben Affleck would give up their script so easily, but it wasn't an easy road to get there.
Doing Justice To His Vision
Reeves sat down for an interview with Uproxx, in which he detailed his strict directing ethic. Fans of the #DCEU are quite familiar with directors departing projects over creative differences. But Reeves has a clever way to avoid being tied to those infamous announcements.
He'll make it clear to studios where he wants to take the project from the get-go. If that doesn't fit with the studio's vision, he's not going to work with it. Reeves approached Warner Bros. with that creative mindset during talks to helm Batman. He put all his cards on the table for how he wanted to approach the movie. And as we learned from some recent rumors however, it took a little convincing.
According to Splash Report, Reeves told Geoff Johns and Warner Bros. he wanted full creative control over the project, and rejected working with Affleck, Johns and Terrio's script. Fortunately for the director, the studio eventually agreed to his terms:
"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'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.'"
Reeves went on to explain that his practice of being completely clear with the studios and sticking to his vision comes from his desire to work on something he was actually passionate about, as opposed to something that was imposed by others:
"You spend too much of your time putting yourself into something, and for it not to work, that’s a nightmare, right? I can fail for every single reason because of myself. I don't want to fail because of something that I don’t believe in in the first place – because I'm not going to know how to do it [...] That's the way I have to do it for me to feel confident in my choices. And so, I’m happy to part ways not even in an acrimonious way."
What Does The Change In Direction Mean For The Movie?
Short answer: That it's probably in good hands. Something that caught my attention from before Reeves's involvement was the way in which the movie was discussed. It essentially came down to figuring out what it was going to be. In Reeves's case, he's known what he wants for the story and the characters from the get-go.
Aside from the reluctance to work with another person's script, he's also already found great influences for the film and the characters. That vision tells us something very important: The movie has a solid creative structure. While that doesn't necessarily mean Warner Bros. and Reeves are crafting the next superhero masterpiece, it does paint a promising picture for the project.
We know what Reeves can do when at his creative best. We have movies like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield as proof. So, seeing how bright Reeves can shine when working off of his own vision, the Caped Crusader could be in for a truly special adaptation. The Batman doesn't have a release date just yet, but we'll be able to see the Dark Knight perform his heroic deeds in #JusticeLeague, on theaters on November 17, 2017.
What do you think about the state of The Batman? Does that mean the movie's in good hands? Let me know in the comments!