EDITORIAL: Is It Time To Just Give Up On THE BATMAN Once And For All?

EDITORIAL: Is It Time To Just Give Up On THE BATMAN Once And For All?

The Batman has been plagued by issues for months now, and following the loss of yet another director, we examine whether it's time to just give up on the highly anticipated movie once and for all...

Remember Gambit? Set to be released last October, the movie first found an A-List lead star in the form of Channing Tatum before losing not one, but two directors. On the surface, the spinoff sounded like it had real potential (especially with a treatment written by Chris Claremont), and after everything that's happened recently, it's hard not to now view The Batman in the same way. 

Originally, the movie was to be written by Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns - a real dream team - and directed by the former. Sure, Live by Night disappointed (something which I think can be blamed on Warner Bros. getting the filmmaker to squeeze it in between Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League), but Affleck's track record is otherwise impeccable. In recent weeks, however, the actor exited the director's chair after months of claiming he was working on getting the movie right and we've since learned that Chris Terrio was brought in to rewrite the screenplay. All that time Affleck spent saying he would direct The Batman, he must have known a) his and Johns' script was being redone, and that b) he wouldn't direct. That in itself is not a good sign, and neither is the fact that Matt Reeves has now decided against directing it.

Following the mixed response to Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, Warner Bros. is clearly running scared, hence why they seem to be constantly parting ways with directors or going back to the drawing board as they've done with The Flash. Justice League is helmed by the same man who delivered two divisive DC Comics movies to them, while Wonder Woman doesn't look like anything special and has already been plagued with a lot of bad buzz in regards to just how good it is. None of this means the DC Films Universe can't recover of course (I hope more than anything that it does) but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this shared universe is in a pretty chaotic place right now.

So, back to The Batman. Personally, my interest plummeted the second Pee-wee's Big Holiday star Joe Manganiello was cast as Deathstroke. Still, with Affleck at the helm, the actor could have proved the doubters wrong, even if the concept of The Dark Knight battling Slade Wilson (something we essentially spent a year watching in Arrow) was nowhere near as exciting as those early reports that the movie would revolve around Batman taking on his greatest foes in Arkham Asylum. 

Apparently, there's a chance Reeves could re-enter negotiations, while Ridley Scott (a legendary, but hit and miss filmmaker) and Fede Alvarez (who I would love to see get the chance to work on one of these movies) wait in the wings. Whoever lands the job, The Batman isn't going to be what we initially hoped for and believed. In the course of a few short weeks, it's gone from being a movie co-written by one of the greatest comic book writers of all-time and directed by a critically acclaimed filmmaker to having a script from a guy whose work on Batman v Superman has been consistently torn apart in the near year or so since its release. Now, I liked that movie, but given its many plot holes and storytelling inconsistencies, a Terrio penned The Batman doesn't inspire confidence. Throw in the fact that Affleck reportedly wants out of the role as soon as he's attended to his contractual obligations, and why should we even care at this point? Is it time to give up on The Batman

I believe the potential for a good movie is still there, but The Batman we all thought we were getting is dead. The movie many of us assumed could break into the Oscar race with Affleck at the helm as he finally made the leap to big budget filmmaking no longer exists, and we now face the prospect of Warner Bros. hiring a journeyman director who will deliver a safe and mediocre movie they think will be well-received. There has to be more behind why both Affleck and Reeves walked away from the director's chair, and I for one have lost any and all interest in The Batman as things stand, especially as I believe it boils down to the same studio interference which led to a trailer editing company turning Suicide Squad into a stylish mess. Alas, that was still a box office hit, something which has no doubt left Warner Bros. execs under the impression they made the right choice to change it. Anyway, if The Batman happens, great, but if not...well, we've already lost the movie we should have been getting in 2018, so who cares?

As always, be sure to let us know your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below. 
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