The Week in Movies discusses the last seven days in cinema, including the main villain in Wonder Woman potentially being leaked, Ben Affleck stepping down as The Batman’s director, an update on Jurassic World 2 and more…
The Week in Movies is an excerpt from the weekly Flickering Myth Super Newsletter. Subscribe here to get it delivered to your inbox every Sunday.
After week several weeks of negative DC Extended Universe stories – Justice League being “discombobulated”, Wonder Woman being “a mess” – last Sunday actually offered a rare piece of positivity. Someone had heard “good things” about those aforementioned tentpole releases.
DC finally had a break! Some momentum! This is the studio with the rights to the world’s most iconic superheroes – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg (OK, maybe not Cyborg) – how will Warner Bros. capitalise?
By announcing Ben Affleck is stepping down as the director of The Batman.
If you ask me, it’s probably for the best. Looking over Affleck’s career, he historically doesn’t do well when separating with a woman called Jennifer (Lopez/Garner) shortly after appearing in a badly received superhero movie (Daredevil/Batman v Superman). Starring in, writing, directing, producing and singing The Batman’s theme tune might be taking on a tad too much.
There is a worrying element to all this – besides just another DCEU director stepping down from their role (the fourth we know about since its inception). At the start of this year, Affleck told The Guardian that he wouldn’t direct The Batman if the script was no good. So a month later, with WB intent on sticking to a Spring shoot, and Affleck leaving the role, does that mean he’ll be working on a script he thinks is sub-par?
The news was so badly received that shortly after a rather dubious rumour began circulating on Twitter claiming Affleck could drop out of The Batman entirely.
War of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves was first on the reported replacement shortlist, along with Mad Max’s George Miller (because it’s in his WB contract to be rumoured to direct all DC films at one point or another), The Accountant’s Gavin O’Connor, Captain Fantastic’s Matt Ross and Arrival’s Denis Villeneuve. The latter seems unlikely. He just signed onto reboot Dune.
Argo scribe Chris Terrio, who worked on Batman v Superman’s script, has reportedly written a draft based on Affleck and Geoff Johns’ original version. Flickering Myth’s Luke Owen has attempted to condense The Batman’s troubled history, while Tai Freligh has taken a deeper look at the directors that could replace Affleck.
It’s a worrying trend in DC’s movies. Michelle McClaren was the trailblazer, being the first ever female director to walk away from the DCEU’s first ever female-led superhero movie. Both Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa departed The Flash last year, leading Flickering Myth’s Henry Bevan to ask if we should be more concerned about the Scarlett Speedster’s solo film.
Despite all the behind-the-scenes discontent, Common still wants to play John Stewart in Green Lantern Corps. Ewen Bremner has revealed his Wonder Woman character’s backstory, but it’s still the tie-in toy sets that reign supreme on spoilers. An action figure might have just leaked the film’s central villain.
Although they’ve been around the longest, the X-Verse is trying to find itself a new place in the multiplex’s increasingly crowded comic-book market. Deadpool writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese think they have the answer: a “sillier” tone. Not silly enough for the super-serious Logan, mind you. But maybe silly enough to have Pierce Brosnan star as Cable.
Head to the next page for the Young Han Solo film’s working title being revealed, Taika Waititi confirming a few MCU appearances in Thor: Ragnarok, an update on Jurassic World 2 and more…