Several additional directors have been identified as on Warner Bros.'s shortlist to replace Ben Affleck as director of the upcoming The Batman, according to Forbes. In addition to the previously-reported Matt Reeves (War of the Planet of the Apes), additional names now bandied about reportedly are Gavin O'Connor (The Accountant), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic), and George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road).
As for the reason why Affleck departed the director's chair of The Batman, long-time friend Kevin Smith revealed his opinion of the situation.
"Here’s my hot take. What’s the upshot? Seriously. Everybody wants that to be the greatest Batman movie ever made, and you know, in many cases, maybe the greatest Batman movie ever made has been made, called The Dark Knight, it’s a pretty wonderful film. If that’s your bar for a Batman standalone, Chris Nolan couldn’t even measure up to himself with The Dark Knight Rises," said Smith on his Fatman on Batman podcast. ""I liked it, but it wasn’t received nearly as well and shit. Let’s be honest, that Joker portrayal is for the ages - fuckin’ beyond brilliant and shit. So, it’s a tall order, man. Maybe he’s the kind of guy who’s like, ‘Why bother? Like, why am I going to step up to the plate? No matter what I do, people are gonna bitch. If it ain’t fuckin’ The Dark Knight, I’m fucked. But if I’m just acting in it, my name’s Paul, and this is between y’all. I’m just the Bat, that’s it.”
No release date has been set for The Batman.