Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was a toilet fire, even graded on the generous curve of shitty comic book franchise flicks, but it grossed (deep breath) $873 million worldwide, which is all the encouragement Warner Brothers needs to make more toilet fires like it. One of those conflagrations is The Batman, a 2018 stand-alone movie about the Caped Crusader – how novel, a movie about Batman – set to not only star BvS’s Ben Affleck, but to be directed and produced by the Argo filmmaker as well.
Alas, that’s not to be. Word broke Monday that Affleck was stepping down from the director’s chair on the project (he’ll still produce and star). Why? Let’s go to the statement: “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.” And I think anyone who watched Affleck glower, growl, and “Express Yourself” cosplay his way through Batman v Superman would agree that, yes, you must focus only on that one job; you couldn’t possibly direct while acting at that level. (Or, another theory: WB is smarting over the $75 million loss of Affleck’s last directorial effort, Live By Night. Just a crazy, nutty alternate possibility!)
Anyway, the moment the news broke, bloggers at comic book and blockbuster sites across ye old Internet slapped on their Junior Producer badges and started drafting suggestions for directors to take over The Batman. So we figured we’d get in on the act! Here’s who we’d most like to see in the director’s chair of DC’s latest:
Nobody. Nobody at all. Are you fucking kidding me? Who the fuck needs another Batman movie? Between the eight live action features, additional animated movies, hours of television cartoons, ‘60s television series, and (of course) metric tons of funny books, what else do we need to know about this character? What’s anyone else going to bring to it? I’ll tell you: if it’s part of this rancid “DC Extended Universe,” they’re gonna end up making the same goddamn sad bastard rainy mopey bullshit movie they’ve already made three times, so who gives a shit?
And, what’s more, why on earth would you want to sentence an exciting, talented director to spend a year or more of his or her life on that bullshit? If you really love the work of Cary Fukunaga or Michelle McLaren or Guillermo del Toro or Ava DuVernay or Jeremy Saulnier or Ben Wheatley or Ezra Edelman (yes, really), then wouldn’t you rather have them occupying their most fruitful years with projects of their own creation, films stamped with their inimitable personality and style, rather than seeing them surrender themselves to this soul-sucking maw?
So here’s my million-dollar idea: don’t have anybody direct it. I’m not actually suggesting they won’t make The Batman; they’ll keep beating this dead horse until it’s dog meat. But just… don’t bother with a director. Save yourselves some money, Warner Brothers – after Live By Night, sounds like you need it! Instead, just turn directorial duties over to whoever is in the mood to do it that day: producer, stunt double, camera op, dolly grip, craft service, Affleck, whoever. Sure, you’ll end up with an incoherent mess, but look at it this way – it can’t possibly be worse than Batman v Superman, and that shit made almost a billion dollars!