EXCLUSIVE: I’ve heard Warner Bros has offered the directing job on its Batman franchise to Matt Reeves, the filmmaker who just finished War For The Planet Of The Apes for Fox. This comes weeks after Ben Affleck decided that directing and starring in such a massive undertaking was too much. The emergence of Reeves is hardly a surprise; it was known he was the filmmaker the studio engaged when Affleck made his decision after weeks of wavering.

If the deal makes, this is a big opportunity for Reeves, who became a director to watch on the sleeper genre hit Cloverfield, and followed with the remake of the hit vampire coming-of-age import Let The Right One In. Reeves took the leap to event-sized films with Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the first of his two films in that hit series for 2oth Century Fox. The latest installment, War For The Planet of the Apes, will be released by Fox July 14. Word is that film would have put him on the tent pole A list, so what better time to take on a high profile assignment like relaunching Batman as a free standing franchise for Warner Bros and DC?

There have been two films by Tim Burton, two more by Joel Schumacher and then the Dark Knight trilogy by Christopher Nolan. All this started when Affleck agreed to write a script with Geoff Johns, for Affleck to star and direct. Warner Bros and DC have been working on getting that launch film right, with the most recent rewrite turned in by Affleck’s Argo scribe Chris Terrio, sources said. Reeves is repped by CAA and 3 Arts. Stay tuned to this Batchannel to see if the deal consummates.