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10 Directors We’d Like to See Take on THE BATMAN

10 Directors We’d Like to See Take on THE BATMAN

We’ve known for some time that a new Batman movie was on the way with Ben Affleck slated to reprise his role as the Dark Knight while also sitting in the director’s chair. However, Affleck has now made the surprising choice to step down as the director while remaining with The Batman as its star. Variety broke the story about Affleck’s decision, which was reportedly made in conjunction with Warner Bros. for the good of the project. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give,” shared Affleck. “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.”

So the question is: Who should take over as the film’s new director?

War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is said to be on the studio’s shortlist to join The Batman. And while we think that Reeves is a fine choice, we have a shortlist of our own to share. As Affleck noted, Batman is a character who has “a special place in the hearts of millions.” We suspect that many of Hollywood’s best directors would love their shot at one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. And they may even be able to add layers to Bruce Wayne’s alter ego that we haven’t previously considered.

Patty Jenkins

Considering that Zack Snyder has now directed three films in the DC Extended Universe, we think that the studio clearly prefers to work with directors who are already familiar with the comic book world they’ve recreated for the big screen. In that case, we’d love to see Patty Jenkins get her shot at The Batman. The early buzz on Jenkins’ Wonder Woman movie is great, and she’s demonstrated her ability to pull off a dark and atmospheric story in her episodes of The Killing. Jenkins is a world class talent, and she’s ready to step up to the crown jewel of DC’s superhero universe.

Cary Fukunaga

Do you remember the visually arresting first season of True Detective? Cary Fukunaga‘s eight-episode stint on HBO’s crime anthology series looked more like an ambitious movie than a TV series. And yet Fukunaga has only helmed a single feature film (Beasts of No Nation) since his breakout gig won him the Emmy award for outstanding direction. It’s only a matter of time before Fukunaga gets another shot at the big screen, and we think he’d deliver an outstanding Batman movie.

Michelle MacLaren

Michelle MacLaren‘s list of television directorial credits is ridiculously strong. She’s helmed some of the very best episodes of The X-Files, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, Better Call Saul, and Westworld, among many others. MacLaren has also been eyed for some feature film gigs, including the Wonder Woman movie. We think she’d be another fantastic choice to bring Batman’s solo adventures back to the big screen.

Gareth Edwards

There is still some question as to how much Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was changed in post-production, and how much of that was due to Garerth Edwards‘ decisions. However, it was obvious that Edwards brought a much needed fresh perspective to the Star Wars canon, delivering a movie that felt like it belonged in that universe while maintaining its own sense of style and taste. That couldn’t have been an easy task to pull off, which is why he may be well suited to do it again in the DC Extended Universe.

M. Night Shyamalan

This one may be controversial, so bear with us. M. Night Shyamalan is a very good director–sometimes, he’s even a great one. And while Shyamalan’s stock fell hard over the last decade, his recent success with Split appears to have revitalized his career. Unlike some directors on this list, Shyamalan now has at least two comic book inspired movies under his belt. Shyamalan’s Unbreakable had a particularly compelling and understated tone that made its superhero origin story emotionally resonate with the audience. If Shyamalan could bring those same qualities to Gotham City and resist his tendency to go for the big twist, then he could be a worthy Batman director… assuming that he’s not more interested in shooting Unbreakable 2.

George Miller

Ten years ago, George Miller very nearly gave us our first live-action Justice League movie. But it wasn’t until Mad Max: Fury Road came along that everyone remembered what a terrific action director Miller is. Miller has been directing movies for almost 40 years now, so he’s definitely got all of the experience that anyone could ask for in a superhero director. Miller was even rumored to be up for a sequel to Man of Steel. Somehow, we think that he’d be an even better fit for Batman.

Guillermo del Toro

After Blade II and the two Hellboy films, we don’t know if Guillermo del Toro is even interested in making another comic book movie, even if it is The Batman. But in a way, del Toro feels like he could be a terrific fit for it just by bringing his signature weirdness and bizarre creations to the world of Gotham City. Del Toro would be a left-field choice to take over the franchise, but so was Tim Burton back in the ’80s. And while the best Batman movies have one foot in reality, we’d be willing to see just how strange things can get for the Dark Knight if del Toro wants to let his imagination run wild again.

Darren Aronofsky

Well over a decade ago, Darren Aronofsky was hired to work on a Batman: Year One script for Warner Bros., before eventually leaving the project. Aronofsky was also attached to direct The Wolverine for Hugh Jackman’s mutant hero, but he walked away from that movie as well. At this point, we’re pretty sure that Aronofsky is simply focusing on his own films. But the qualities that make Aronofsky such a great director would still make him a great choice for a Batman movie.

F. Gary Gray

While F. Gary Gray has been directing films for over two decades, it was his work on Straight Outta Compton that sent his stock through the stratosphere, and led to his work on The Fate of the Furious, the Fast and Furious sequel that is likely to be one of the biggest action hits of the year. That seems like the perfect training ground for a big budget Batman movie. And we have faith that Gray could bring out the heart of the project as well.

Lesli Linka Glatter

If you don’t know who Lesli Linka Glatter is, then you may not watch a lot of television. For over 30 years, she’s been one of the top directors in her field, with episodes of Twin Peaks, NYPD Blue, Mad Men, The West WingGilmore Girls, The Chicago Code, and Homeland under her wing. Glatter is a fantastic director, and yet she just hasn’t gotten the chance to do many theatrically released live-action movies. We think that should change, and perhaps she could be the one to restore Gotham City’s signature hero to his previous cinematic heights.

Who do you think should direct The Batman? Light up the Bat-signal and share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

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