Matt Reeves seemed to have the director's chair locked up for "The Batman." The only hurdle left to overcome was negotiations with the studio, Warner Brothers. According to Variety, that hurdle was actually one too high to jump, as talks have seemingly broken down between Reeves and the film studio.

Contract stalemate

There is no immediate indication as to why the contract talks have broken down between Reeves and Warner Brothers. When these stalemates have occurred in the past, they usually center around money or creative differences. Since the news of him joining "The Batman" only emerged a week ago, this turn of events is a surprise; the original news clearly came before the contract was signed.

A possible source of creative tension could stem from the star of "The Batman," Ben Affleck. He was originally slated to direct the film, but chose to drop that role to focus on the role of playing the caped superhero. He was said to still plan on playing a role in the direction of the film, though. Reeves could have found that demand to be untenable in regards to his own vision for the movie.

Future of the film

Just because the contract talks have broken down does not mean Reeves is out of the running to direct. They could return to the negotiating table at any point, if they deem it reasonable to do so. Meanwhile, Warner Brothers plans to go forward with "The Batman," even though the production schedule and direction of the film is now in complete limbo.

If Reeves is done with the project, though, it becomes unclear where the studio goes from here. They could ask Affleck to step back into the director's chair, but after dismissing it a first time, that would be an awkward ask of their movie star. Some logical names being thrown around for "The Batman" are Patty Jenkins (director of the upcoming "Wonder Woman" film), Michelle MacLaren (who has worked on some of the most popular television shows of the era), and George Miller (known for his stunning action work in films such as "Mad Max: Fury Road").