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Welcome to The Top 5, where every week, we list five things for a given topic. These topics can range from “5 Things We Liked About The Power Rangers Teaser Trailer” to “5 Things We Want (Or Don’t Want) In Ben Affleck’s The Batman.”

Of course, because everyone has an opinion, there is sure to be some disagreements, which is why, despite the title “The Top 5,” very rarely are these actual “best of” articles. Instead, they’re meant to provide entertaining insight, and to stir a discussion, and give everyone a chance to speak their mind. 

If you have a suggestion for a Top 5 piece, send them my way via #TheTop5LRM on Twitter. If I choose your topic, I’ll be sure to give you a shoutout!

Now, on with today’s topic!


Much to the dismay of film and comic book movie fans around the world, Ben Affleck has officially stepped down as director of the upcoming standalone Batman film. This comes as a definite blow to those who have been begrudgingly sucking up what the DC Extended Universe has had to offer with the assumption that Affleck’s direction would serve as the beacon of hope the DCEU deserves.

Though while Affleck may be leaving as the project’s helmer, he’s still claiming to be involved as producer, star, and (we assume this last one) writer of the film. In essence, it almost sounds as if whoever picks things up from where he left off will have to cooperate with Affleck and work within the confines of the pre-existing vision.

But who is the studio looking at to fill this void?. One of them was listed in the original Variety article that announced Affleck’s departure, and the other four were mentioned in a recent Forbes piece. So who are they and what do we think? Check it out below!

5 directors who are rumored to be on the shortlist to helm The Batman!


Matt Reeves was the director initially mentioned by Variety in the Affleck departure announcement, and we have to say, he sounds like a pretty solid fit. 

If you’re unfamiliar, Reeves is the relatively new filmmaker behind such great movies as Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes. Barring the romantic comedy The Pallbearer (starring David Schwimmer and Gwyneth Paltrow, which he directed back in 1996), the man hasn’t really made a bad movie. In Cloverfield he showed how adept he was at shooting epic on a small scale. With Let Me In, he showed his horror chops, his ability to adapt source material, and finally, his ability to work with kids. With Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, however, he showed that he was able to work his way into an existing franchise and elevate it to a whole new level.

Given how great of a job he did on that latter film, we’re excited to see what he could bring to the DCEU under the direction of Affleck.


This is another strong choice for a director. If you somehow have not watched the fantastic MMA film Warrior (which stars Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy), do yourself a favor and track down that underrated gem. Not only are the fights some of the most hard-hitting fights I’ve seen in a movie, but O’Connor was able to get amazing performances out of his actors. From Tom Hardy’s standoffish brute to Nick Nolte’s broken old man, it was packed with enough heart to interest folks who had minimal interest in MMA.

Last year, O’Connor also released the crowd-pleaser The Accountant. While it may not have been a critical darling, I have yet to speak to someone on the street who saw it and didn’t like it. Additionally, that film served as a collaboration between him and Affleck, and if the two are going to be working together on The Batman, it helps if the two have worked with each other in the past.

All in all, he seems like a solid choice if he’s already given an amazing script. Give him the material, and he’s sure to deliver the goods.


Here is an interesting one. This guy is a rising star in Hollywood, already having brought Prisoners, Sicario, and now Arrival to audiences. All of his films so far have been great critical hits, and his latest has opened the door for him to become more well known to mainstream viewers. But is he a good fit for The Batman?

We have our doubts.

While Villeneuve is undeniably a master storyteller, he may try and bring too much of himself to this big budget project. This could lead to a clash behind the scenes, and an early departure — which is something we know Warner Bros has a tendency to do as of late. In the realm of filmmaking, he seems much closer to an auteur than a standard film director. That much bad press is the very last thing The Batman needs added to its plate.


Now here’s a weird choice. Chances are you’ve never heard of him before. Turns out that not only is he mostly an actor (you can see him playing Gavin Belson in HBO’s Silicon Valley), but it turns out he’s also dabbled in directing — most recently in the Viggo Mortensen film Captain Fantastic. The movie itself was a critical hit, though given its indie nature, it’s hard to compare it to anything remotely close to Batman.

In short, Ross no experience with big budget films. While that isn’t necessarily a kiss of death (look at what Marvel has accomplished with relatively unknown talents), a studio needs to have an infrastructure set up around an inexperienced director that can put them in as good a position as possible to guarantee success. We’re not quite sure Warner Bros has that infrastructure set up, and as such, they may want to stick to those who have a more solid understanding of how to direct big budget movies.


Here’s probably the one most fanboys will go nuts over. Not only did Miller direct the 2015 film Mad Max: Fury Road — which managed to hit well with both fans and critics — but this is also someone with close ties to the Justice League. That’s right, back in the late 2000s, Miller was attached to the coolest comic book movie that was never made: Justice League: Mortal. The film was a hop and a skip away from production when the writer’s strike killed its momentum, snuffing out the project altogether.

As such, we have here a director who is both familiar with the source material and ripe with experience. What’s more, getting Miller on board would be the name fans would need to have faith in The Batman after Affleck’s departure. More than any other director on this list, he has some real geek street cred, and if Warner Bros were to hire him, it would go a long way in getting fans back on board after seeing Affleck get away.

Given the pull Miller may have with the material (considering his years of experience), he may not be the easiest fit, but if Warner Bros truly wants to change the narrative around this movie, they could do far worse than Miller.

What do you think of the directors on this shortlist? Do you see any of them making an amazing Batman film? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCES: VarietyForbes