Despite the fact that he has an Oscar for screenwriting, there’s at least one man in Hollywood unimpressed with Ben Affleck’s writing skills: Matt Reeves, the director of the upcoming film The Batman. For months we’d been hearing that Affleck had collaborated with DCEU mastermind Geoff Johns on a kick ass script for Affleck’s first solo outing as Batman, but Reeves has chucked that script out the window and decided to start over from scratch.
While a guest on MTV’s Happy Sad Confused podcast, Reeves talked mostly about his latest film War for the Planet of the Apes, but did drop this tantalizing tidbit about his upcoming Batman movie when asked by host Josh Horowitz whether Affleck and Johns’ script was still in play…
“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.”
This is right in line with Reeves’ philosophy as a director, in that he doesn’t view himself as a “director for hire,” but rather someone who has to feel personally invested in the story before agreeing to direct the film. In a separate interview with Uproxx released yesterday, Reeves elaborated on this…
“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.”
Surely DC knew what they were getting when they signed Reeves to direct The Batman, and they ultimately trust whatever it is that he’s going to do. So I suppose the countdown is on to them either firing him or letting him do a page one rewrite and hoping for the best. Either way, it’ll be one heck of a fun time.
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