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'The Batman' might have found director to replace Ben Affleck

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Warner Bros. Pictures’ upcoming superhero film The Batman appears to have found a new director after Ben Affleck unexpectedly vacated his duties behind the camera two weeks ago.

Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves has reportedly in line to be hired to helm the project, which will feature Affleck reprising his role in front of the camera as DC Comics’ famous Dark Knight.

Variety reports that Reeves is in “early talks” to fill the director’s chair on the project, which doesn’t have an official release date at this point and might not begin filming until the end of this year or early 2018.

No stranger to filling in for departed directors, Reeves previously stepped in to direct Dawn of the Planet of the Apes after the sudden departure of Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt from that film’s sequel. Reeves’ follow-up was not only a success, but also the highest-grossing film in the entire Planet of the Apes film franchise so far. The third film in the rebooted series, War For the Planet of the Apes, hits theaters in July and was also directed by Reeves.

According to the report, Reeves — who also directed the 2010 horror remake Let Me In — was high on the studio’s list of potential directors for The Batman after Affleck’s departure, and will likely shift into prep for The Batman immediately after his work on War For the Planet of the Apes is concluded later this year.

At this point, all that’s known about The Batman is that Affleck will reprise his role as Bruce Wayne’s vigilante alter ego alongside Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner James Gordon. True Blood actor Joe Manganiello will portray the film’s primary villain, a mercenary named Slade Wilson who’s more commonly known — by DC Comics fans, at least — as Deathstroke.

The script for The Batman was penned by Affleck and veteran DC Comics writer Geoff Johns.

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