Last night, Ben Affleck put out a statement that he’d be stepping down as the director of Batman for the character’s upcoming solo film. It was just a couple weeks ago that he told Jimmy Kimmel he would still be tackling duties in front of and behind the camera. Now, it looks like the mixed reviews of his new film, Live By Night, may be part of what inspired the change of heart. Here’s his statement:
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. 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.”
Now the question is, who should take on the job? Here’s a breakdown of who the internet seems to think is the job should go to:
– Gavin O’Connor: Recently worked with Affleck on The Accountant. Warner Bros likes him.
– David Fincher: Worked with Affleck on Gone Girl.
– Doug Liman: Director of The Bourne Identity and Tom Cruise’ Edge of Tomorrow. Currently attached to direct Warner Bros.’ Justice League Dark.
– Matt Reeves: Directed Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Seems to be near the top of WB’s list.
– Jennifer Kent: Directed The Babadook. She’s new, but she leans dark, which could be good for a Batfilm.
– Chad Stahelski: Co-Directed John Wick and solo’d on John Wick: Chapter 2.
– Gore Verbinski: Directed the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies, The Ring, Rango, and many, many others.
– Gareth Evans: Directed The Raid. Hi action styling could work well for this type of movie, especially given that it seems to have a similar set up.
– Karyn Kusama: Directed Aeon Flux, and The Invitation.
– Matt Ross: Not known much as a director, but he plays Gavin Belson on HBO’s Silicon Valley. He is a favorite of Warner Bros and he directed the indie hit, Captain Fantastic.
– Drew Goddard: Directed Cabin In the Woods and was showrunner for Netflix’ Daredevil.
– Michelle MacLaren: Directed Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones. Was set to Direct Wonder Woman, but bailed over creative differences. Don’t count on WB forgiving that any time soon.
– Taylor Sheridan: Wrote Sicario and Hell or High Water.
– Dee Rees: Just started to get big this year at Sundance with the indie film Pariah. I have trouble imagining WB risking the franchise on an untested entity.
– Joss Whedon: Because he’s Joss M’f’in Whedon and it would be dumb not to mention him.
– Matthew Vaughn: Directed: Kick-Ass, X-Men: The First Class, Kingsman.
– Kathryn Bigelow: Directed Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty
– Denis Villeneuve: Currently filming Blade Runner 2049 and prepping for Dune.
– Christopher McQuarrie: Directed Jack Ryan, Mission: Impossible. Currently preparing to shoot MI: 6.
– Cary Fukunaga: Directed Beasts of No Nation.