‘The Batman’: Negotiations Break Down Between Studio and Director Matt Reeves

Matt Reeves Batman
Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

In another setback for the highly-anticipated superhero tentpole, talks have broken down between Warner Bros. and Matt Reeves about becoming the director of “The Batman,” Variety has confirmed.

A studio source indicates that negotiations have stopped, but adds that talks could resume down the road. WB is still intent on making the film, the source insisted, whatever means necessary.

The news comes after star Ben Affleck vacated the director’s chair in order to focus on playing the Caped Crusader.

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Ben Affleck Batman

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“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement on Jan. 30. “Performing this role demands focus, passion, and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

Production had already been pushed back to the summer and with this latest hiccup, it’s unclear when filming will get under way.

Affleck and Geoff Johns co-wrote the script, with Chris Terrio recently doing a polish before delivering the screenplay to the studio.

This film is not the only Warner Bros.-DC Entertainment project that has hit some speed bumps in recent months. “The Flash” lost director Rick Famuyiwa in late October following Seth Grahame-Smith’s departure earlier last year.

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  1. Rex the Wonder Dog says:

    Now that WB has indeed signed Matt Reeves to direct does that mean the negotiations have broke up?

  2. Psauer says:

    It’s no wonder they aren’t any great movies being made anymore. The major studios like universal, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros, etc are being run by accountants with spreadsheets. That’s what the heads of these studios are. They are not movie people with any sense passion for movies. I go back to the days with great studios heads like Robert Evans, Richard Zanuck, David Brown, Ted Ashley, Frank Wells, John Calley, Alan Ladd jr, Lew Wasserman. these guys were movie people. They would hear a pitch and if they liked it they would say go make the movie. Simply as that.

  3. Alex says:

    Someone likely told Reeves to stay away from this mess, he’s better off at FOX.

  4. DaveH says:

    How many times are they going to keep making the same movie?

    • Rex the Wonder Dog says:

      When I asked the same question the response I got was how many times are they going to make a James Bond 007 movie, a Star Wars movie, a Star Trek movie, an X-Men movie, a Spider-Man movie

  5. IT--II--IT says:

    ——————————- – – 100% INTEL RUN – – – WASTE of TIME ! – – ——————————–

  6. Leon says:

    PG-13 crap alert. thats why they are all running away

  7. Bill B. says:

    Affleck should just dump this stuff and get back to being the serious actor/director he had become. This was a career step in the wrong direction. You think he would have learned after Daredevil that he is not a comic book action hero.

  8. Ishmael says:

    Like a grave between Mother’s weathered hole.

  9. A.H. Erakat says:

    James Wan or Peter Berg.

  10. Timely Comment says:

    Reeves drops out of Directing THE BATMAN?? What a convoluted thru-line for a movie!

    Really, with the cast of characters… the plot reversals a revelations… the personality sparrings… they should make a comic of it. And then make a movie of THAT.

    Par for the course of the DC Films Universe. The DC Comics are chugging along; the DC TV Shows are doing okay, ratings wise for the CW and FOX (uh, NBC might be a different case); but the movies… are a problem for owners WARNER BROS.

    The “DC Extended Universe” is fine EXCEPT for the DC Films Universe.

    /the DCFU

  11. loco73 says:

    Maybe someone should point out the obvious to Warner Bros. and DC, and have them finally pull the plug on this blighted DCU project. Given the richness of the source material, it doesn’t mean that DC and Warner Bros should stop making movies. Instead maybe they can focus on the individual characters and make standalone movies, without this overarching need to connect the movies for a cinematic universe which up to know has only resulted in a flimsy and rather awkward effort.

    I think Nolan’s Batman trilogy worked, because he was pretty clear with what he wanted to accomplish with the movies and the timeline from beginning to end. Plus he had enough time between the movies 2005-2012) so as to fine tune the finished product as much as possible without being rushed. Most importantly he was never burdened by larger movie universe looming over him and influencing his creative choices and the direction of his movies.

  12. I say recast Batman and have Ben direct lol. He’s the only director I want for this one.

  13. IT--II--IT says:

    – – — BULLLLLEH — – –

    Franchise slum INTEL RUN Hollywood – — is DONE !

  14. Ahsoka says:

    How about getting Steve McQueen or David Fincher to direct the next Batman film.

  15. cadavra says:

    This is a perfect example of the prevailing mentality. So many yoots in suits who have no understanding of what actually entails the making of a movie are piling on with notes and demands–often contradictory–to the extent that no sane director would want to put himself through that. In the old days, Jack Warner would tell Michael Curtiz, “You got a million-two and 45 days” and that would be that. Now, everyone thinks he’s entitled to his opinion. It’s small wonder so many decent filmmakers are heading to indies and streaming.

    • Halby Wallis says:

      Ummm… you realize films like Gone With the Wind went through THREE DIRECTORS DURING PRODUCTION? You know nothing about Old Hollywood.

      • mjweir says:

        Michael Curtiz was the go-to guy when a production was failing. He turned many a sorry mess into a film we still revere today. I believe that is what cadavra is referring to. You A.H. Erakat need to brush up on your golden age Hollywood Trivia before you start shooting off your comments.

      • cadavra says:

        Overlooking the ludicrous comparison to a film made 80 years ago–and that had only one producer, which was my original point–you are totally ignorant of the facts. Cukor was let go because Gable refused to work with him. Fleming fell ill during production, so Vidor pitched in. And then Sam Wood and Selznick himself pitched in, because the film was costing a fortune and shooting only one first-unit at a time was becoming cost-prohibitive. That’s five directors, not even including several second-unit directors, notably B. Reeves Eason. I got fillings older than you, so don’t presume to tell me anything about pictures made before GHOSTBUSTERS.

      • JoeR says:

        Not to mention Wizard of Oz.

  16. Spider says:

    Looks like WB want to keep what ever director on a short leash and potentially bully him/her into doing what the BS suits want! That is NO GOOD!

  17. Just have some courage and give the movie to MEL GIBSON! Forget wasting him on Suicide Squad! I hope that was just a test balloon to see how everyone reacted to Mel directing a superhero movie. Everyone LOVED it, so give him the crown jewel of DC and let him give us the Batman movie we’ve all been dreaming of!

    • mjweir says:

      Mel Gibson needs to be locked in a cage until he’s too feeble to talk. He’s damaged so many people and done such odious things in his life. Don’t give him a thing. He’s a horrible human being. And his directing is schlock.

    • Cass says:

      It couldn’t be any worse than BvS. I would give him a shot.

      • Ishmael says:

        The problem s not Afflecks’ complete lack of talent, because we know that he has some. But if he could just get out of the director and acting chair, and perhaps executive produce to get his guaranteed monetary rewards, then I think Hatman could be a very good segue into a new franchise that is not reliant on goofy gruff voices, exaggerated pecks, cod-pieces, and black gowns. Which disconcertingly clash with the image of a grown man emoting (whining?) about the devastating loss of the teat that the Mom provided before her invited, craved for, and lusted after demise because she was so humiliated by having to feign orgasms by her sliver-sized husband with a matching sized penis, all the while knowing that her Batty Boy had the junk to please her. Only a retard could be oblivious to Batman’s longing for his mother whom he had an intimate relationship for years before her orchestrated exit. In fact, she made certain that she would be shot first, and twice. Her affair was so disturbing to her that she encouraged a scenario that would end her life in a way suitable to the assassination of a degenerate. Her son, scarred forever by the brutality of his mother’s death, was thus a Mommy-made psychopath, He’d longed for his father’s death, and planned the execution during his pre-teen precociousness, but his Mother’s surprise self-slaughter that was concocted to free, by now, her bat-shit boy from his father’s mediocrity and her perversity, only deepened the psychological wounds carved into his pubescent brain. Of course, he went all-odd that would surpass the flamboyance of Liberace in his Vegas days with Robin. And yet the pre-bat-urges he felt, like an incessant desire to rescue the most gainfully employed entities, preferably with savior complexes and c-cups, symbolizing his Mommy’s sacrifice and evoking his matriarchal Moma-Madonna’s above average tits. Now if only they could recast with Andrew Garfield (who is monstrously more talented to Cardben Arflack), but he is a facsimile of the tortured 19th century soul, abandoned by his bawdy Mom acting the part of a flume in waiting. Of course her actions are performances geared to feeding herself and her beloved. The close proximity that they share, however, curdles the mind, and that savage desire for life turns dark, mutates over time, until Bat boy’s teen months are almost past, and the present, even after his Mother’s self-annihilation, becomes the master that he is forever enslaved by. Grotesquely, the future is now his mistress. A mindful space where his mother can never vacate or resume. A box filled with Chanel #5 and echos of youth entwined with middle-aged ennui and dryness shared with deserts of the mind. Blowing the dust from caverns tames the expectations. One would certainly think! Perhaps thinking is a luxurgy too pedantic unbeknownst to him? His motives become opaque, maybe even shadows. Is the desire, his quest, the wind-mill fluffer that forges for someone to penetrate , oh so vigorously, his hard exterior a manifest of his micro-memory? The hints left by his mother in tiny pin pricks to his cerebellum? He does not know. A mountain doesn’t hang languorously from the rafters. In such a mode the snow would leave his heart charmed by the sun. An impossibility, unless black embraces sun-spots and graves. To free him, his shaky eye gaze, from the love he has known and the love that beckons him now, requires a cant. A love which remains nameless on the surface, and yet on everyone’s lips.

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