Let Zack Snyder direct The Batman
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On Tuesday, we received the news that Ben Affleck has officially stepped down from directing The Batman. It's a disappointment, since he's a fantastic director. While he's only been behind the lens on a handful of films, they're pretty much all critical darlings, with a slew of Oscar, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, and other nominations and wins. Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and Argo are a few examples of his directing prowess. He was going to bring something really special to the DCEU, and now it's not going to be quite the same. (However, he is still starring, writing, and producing. It's this wearing of too many hats that caused him to step down.)
So. The film will still have a lot of his influence, which is good news. However, the question now becomes: Who should be in the director's chair when cameras start rolling on The Batman?
To me, the answer is obvious – Zack Snyder.
Pipe down, haters. Hear me out here. Snyder has a stellar record with comic book and graphic novel properties. Starting with 2006's 300, and followed by Watchmen in 2009, he has shown his skill with, and commitment to, being incredibly faithful to iconic source material. Many scenes in both films are panel-for-panel recreations of the graphic novel pages. He doesn't try to stick his two cents' worth in every movie, putting his own spin on things (they like to call it “artistic license” in the biz) just because he can. He knows how much these stories mean to their fans, and that goes a long way in my book. He has my respect for that.
Another reason is continuity. Aside from the abysmal Suicide Squad, Snyder is pretty much in the driver's seat for the whole DCEU. He directed Man of Steel, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; and is also slated for Justice League: Parts 1 & 2. So it only makes sense to let him remain in control, for the sake of the integrity of the film universe itself. Having a bunch of different directors work on a single series is just asking for trouble, both in continuity and in the dreaded “creative differences.” (Yes, it has mostly worked for Marvel, but the MCU is lightning in a bottle. Let's not pretend that makes it a foolproof formula.) He's already familiar with all the principal characters and their respective portrayers, so he isn't going to go screwing with established canon or pissing off his stars.
Finally, there's his style, visually and tonally. He's created a beautifully dark DCEU, and populated it with characters and stories who fit the narrative perfectly. Some may not care for the darkness he's brought to the founders of the Justice League, but I would advise those people to read more comics. Batman is an incredibly dark character (they don't call him The Dark Knight for nothing, you know), and Snyder's unique vision for his films is perfect for the tragic tale of Bruce Wayne – even more so for this Bruce Wayne, the harder, more vengeful version he becomes after the death of Jason Todd. His world simply isn't a light and happy place. Gotham City seems to live entirely by night (no pun intended), and this makes him a perfect fit.
Really, it's a no-brainer. Zack Snyder's commitment to source material, extraordinary visual style, and previous experience in the DCEU makes him the ideal candidate, especially when you factor in the influence Ben Affleck is still going to have on the film's story and dialogue. The two working together just might make the best comic book film we've seen yet.
- Warner Bros.
Let Zack Snyder direct The Batman
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