So we've had our new Batman for a while now, and today brought the news that Gal Gadot will be our new Wonder Woman. Still, despite all the casting hullaballoo, I'm still curious about the potential directors of a stand-alone Batfleck movie. Who might step behind the lens to bring our Caped Crusader back in his own solo adventure? Snyder? Goyer? Could Affleck just go ahead and do it himself? Well, it all depends on what they want to do. I know I have one particular favorite, but let's explore some additional options as well. Here are my five choices for who should direct a Batman movie.
1) Guillermo Del Toro
I don't know how this guy hasn't been at the very, very top of every list to bring Batman to the big screen again. His movies bring all kinds of separate elements necessary to a successful Batman formula. He's got the flamboyant weirdness of Burton, the freewheeling popcorn fest sensibilities of Schumacher (in a good way, that is), and the gloominess of Nolan. Del Toro can basically do it all, and I think he can certainly bring all the pieces together in just the right way for this franchise. Tell me you're not curious to see what he can do with Harley Quinn, or that you're not interested in a Del Toro-designed Killer Croc or Clayface. Even though he's my absolute favorite for the job, there are still plenty of viable candidates, so let's continue.
2) Ben Affleck
Well, obviously. It only makes sense, right? Beyond that, however, I think he could easily pull off a great Batman movie. When you win Best Picture for only the third full-length movie you directed, I think you're doing it right. He knows how to develop incredible characters, and establish a strong pace for his movies. I assume he's the top choice for the director's chair over at WB (again, he just won them Best Picture), but is he capable of delivering the kind of three-ring spectacle we'd want from a Batman movie? After all, these films are on a much larger scale than, say, Gone Baby Gone. However, I have to imagine that Affleck has his own unique vision of the World's Greatest Detective. He's been a fan of the character for years, and I find it hard to believe he hasn't at least considered the job. But if not Affleck, who else can do the job?
3) David Fincher
Perhaps it's an odd choice, but hey, I thought he was kind of an odd choice for The Social Network at the time. "Wait, is Zuckerberg's head gonna be in a box at the end?" Fincher is not the type of guy to shy away from unrestrained darkness, and that's just what I want from Batman. Yes, Nolan's trilogy was certainly dark, but it was more of a psychologically dark tale of a hero's journey, the nature of crime and punishment, and the like. If Affleck's new Batman is going to be as grizzled and weary as we're told, then I want some genuine brutality to enter the fray, and that's something we all know Fincher can do. He's even working with Affleck on Gone Girl, so maybe Affleck can pass this suggestion along.
4) Darren Aronofsky
At one point, Aronofsky was planning on developing an adaptation of Batman: Year One, but that never materialized. He was also set to direct The Wolverine, before dropping out to pursue Noah and being replaced with James Mangold. Isn't it time we gave him the chance to really deliver a superhero movie? He directed Mickey Rourke to an Oscar nomination in The Wrestler, a movie about a man living well past his prime. I can definitely see shades of that story being translated to this new incarnation of Bruce Wayne. Throw in good action, memorable characters, a great story, and the typical array of Aronofsky's stunning visuals, and you've got a damn-near perfect movie.
5) Terry Gilliam
Will he ever take the job? Doubtful. Do I think he should? Well, certainly! Getting Gilliam to direct a Batman movie could be a great way to harken back to the delightfully weird days of Burton, and could potentially help Gilliam re-enter the world of directorial credibility. It's been a while since he's directed a movie that was well-received across the board, and, like Del Toro, I would love to see how Gilliam's visual exuberance can give us a fresh take on Gotham City and its inhabitants. After spending a period of time trying to get Watchmen off the ground (Alan Moore was less than thrilled with that concept, as you might imagine) maybe Batman is the right comic book adaptation for Gilliam to make a strong comeback.
Who will be the next brave soul to tackle this new iteration of our favorite Dark Knight? Who should be selected for this Herculean task? We'll have to wait and see. And probably listen to more kvetching about Affleck and/or Gadot. Let's try and steer the conversation more toward who ought to direct the flick, and then we'll have something different to debate.