At the time of writing, a petition set up in the aftermath of Ben Affleck’s decision not to direct The Batman has amassed close to 5,800 signatures. According to the title of the online call to arms on change.org, the message is simple: ‘Let Zack Snyder direct The Batman’.
When Affleck announced he wasn’t going to direct a stand-alone Batman movie earlier this week, following his debut as the Caped Crusader in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, fans were understandably concerned by the turn of events.
The Argo star and director has always maintained he wouldn’t go ahead with the DC movie unless he was fully satisfied with the script.
In a recent interview with Culture Trip, Affleck spoke about what sort of film he would direct next after his latest project Live By Night was released. It had been thought he would go straight into production for The Batman, but even prior to the announcement earlier this week that he had decided to leave the production, it seemed that the actor had some reservations.
In the video below, at 1:52, Affleck speaks about his concerns over making a big budget Hollywood film and how people will be ‘gunning for you’.
It was an odd way to outline his future plans. It seemed like he had been asked the question plenty of times before and was wary of giving away anything that might hint at what project he was doing next.
Affleck maintains he is still committed to the character and will star as Batman in both the solo film as well as in several more Justice League movies. He appeared in Suicide Squad, but despite once again receiving praise for his performance, the film was slammed by critics just like Batman vs Superman was a few months earlier.
The petition for Zack Synder to now direct the film has been set up by a writer for a film site in the US, so it’s unlikely that it will be taken too seriously by producers at Warner Bros. The comments section outlines most of the concerns fans have about giving the man responsible for Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman control over another DC project.
That being said, Snyder does seem to have influence at the studio. Despite middling reviews for his Superman film, and a savaging for the superhero team-up that followed, the man at the helm of 300 has once again been given creative control over the upcoming Justice League movie.
The film is set to see Batman (Affleck) join forces with The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher).
If the film does well (and that is a big IF, given DC’s recent track-record) then there could be a legitimate reason to keep Snyder on board for The Batman.
Also, for all its many flaws, the director’s re-invention of the Dark Knight has been a success. Affleck is almost universally acclaimed for his performances in the cape and cowl, which in itself wasn’t an easy task given that he followed Christian Bale’s take on the character in the Nolan trilogy.
Bizarrely, it might actually be the massive box-office failure of Affleck’s own movie Live By Night that has caused the change in heart.