Why Andy Muschietti is a Good Fit for Batman: Brave and the Bold

Last week, Warner Bros. released The Flash. Long delayed, the film has garnered a divisive critical and audience reaction, to say the least. While many praised the light-hearted tone, Michael Keaton’s return as Batman, and Sasha Calle’s portrayal of Supergirl, the excessive humor, subpar visual effects, and weak third act were all roundly derided.

I found the film disappointing. Apart from Calle’s solid performance as Supergirl — given limited opportunities outside of a few impressive fight sequences — the superhero epic came across as cheesy, disjointed, and lacking in substance.

Nevertheless, I’m excited Andy Muschietti will direct Batman: Brave and the Bold for James Gunn’s new DCEU. There are a few concerns, but I remain hopeful for a positive outcome.

First and foremost, The Flash’s issues seem to stem less from Muschietti’s direction and more from behind-the-scenes turmoil at Warner Bros. Since Zack Snyder’s departure, the DCEU has lacked a clear vision. No one with a distinct creative direction has emerged, resulting in a haphazard collection of films that straddle the “Snyder-Verse” and a more light-hearted, Marvel-inspired approach.

Muschietti fulfills his duties and delivered a final product that, at the very least, is watchable—a feat in itself. The Flash boasts impressive visuals, despite flawed CGI that likely arose from a chaotic production, last-minute reshoots, and excessive meddling. The film has moments of brilliance, particularly when Muschietti and his skilled stunt team transform Keaton into an action star. During Batman’s infiltration of a Soviet facility, he dispatches a horde of faceless goons with hand-to-hand combat and hi-tech gadgetry. The fight choreography is well-executed and visually arresting. Muschietti demonstrates clear spatial awareness and directs the action in a coherent manner.

However, the third-act battle is a complete mess. Again: this probably stems from those last-minute revisions. Moreover, Muschietti’s film contradicts its own established rules by allowing Batman to effortlessly take on Zod’s powerful forces. Nevertheless, the action manages the occasional thrill; given the circumstances, Muschietti delivers a tight and exciting cape flick.

Likewise, the opening sequence—in which Ben Affleck’s Dark Knight chases a truck full of goons on his motorcycle in broad daylight—dazzles. Batman employs various gadgets to overcome obstacles while safeguarding the citizens of Gotham. Unfortunately, this exciting moment loses its impact once Batman abandons the bike. This reveals a terribly designed costume, followed by some Joss Whedon-esque banter with Wonder Woman.

However, I question whether these issues arise from Muschietti’s direction or Warner Bros’ influence.

Under the right circumstances, Muschietti has the potential to direct a solid Batman film. He is not without flaws, as he sometimes loses control of weightier scenes. Comedic elements often overshadow dramatic moments, much like his earlier It films. Both films suffered from creepy sequences hamstrung by misplaced humor or slapstick.

Hopefully, Gunn can guide Muschietti while granting him creative freedom to shape the Batman character.

Ultimately, everything hinges on Gunn’s vision for the future of the DCEU. Will we see more lighthearted adventures akin to The Flash, or darker narratives that delve deeper into these characters’ complexities? For Batman: Brave and the Bold, Gunn aims to introduce Damian Wayne, a complex character with a violent streak. While I can’t imagine taking excessive liberties with our new Dark Knight or his Boy Wonder, I also don’t anticipate a replication of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman. Can Muschietti deliver the right balance of depth, heart, and action to satisfy fans?

I believe he can.

Although we have only seen a limited sample of Muschietti’s abilities — Mama, IT, and The Flash — he has shown flashes of brilliance in each project. So, while it may be wishful thinking, I have faith in Andy Muschietti when it comes to The Brave and the Bold. With proper guidance, he has the potential to create an extraordinary Batman film, one that might even rival Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

Only time will tell.