Shortlist Of 'The Batman' Directors Emerges, Could Ben Affleck Leave Altogether?

Of course, when someone like Ben Affleck backs out of directing a project as big as The Batman there is going to be fallout, and Forbes has captured what they claim to be some of it. But the biggest question mark left on the film right now is who will be his replacement behind the camera, and there they also have a list of names that will make a lot of sense. And at least one of them I mentioned when news broke of Affleck's departure.

As predicted, Gavin O'Connor (The Accountant) is tops on the list of possible replacements, along with George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic) and Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes). None of these names are particularly surprising with the exception of Ross, who quietly had one of the best movies of last year with Captain Fantastic. He doesn't have much blockbuster experience but that could actually work in his favor.  I think the smart money is probably on O'Conner, who has a relationship with the studio and had a recent hit with Affleck. That must go a long way.

Meanwhile, Forbes teases that Affleck may not even play Batman anymore. That's right, they're suggesting he may drop out of the role, too, due to a combination of script problems, his despondency over Live by Night's failure, exhaustion, and other personal issues. It's probably worth noting that Affleck's statement yesterday didn't mention the script he co-wrote with Geoff Johns at all. We could see Warner Bros. bring in another writer to give it a go, but I doubt the situation ends with Affleck leaving altogether.

The ultimate point seems to be that The Batman isn't happening anytime soon, and where it will fit in the DCU when ready is unclear. I think fans would be okay with any of the previously mentioned options, especially since Zack Snyder isn't mentioned anywhere.