We’ve pretty much known that Ben Affleck was going to direct the first Batman film for the new DC Cinematic Universe, and Deadline has solidified that fact today. The real surprise comes in the form of the film’s co-writer (Deadline says that Ben is working on the script, but whether he gets a credit remains to be verified). The man who will reboot the Caped Crusader?

Geoff Johns.

Johns is somewhat of a guru over at DC having worked on numerous comic runs (including a deep revitalization of the Green Lantern title) and also shows like SmallvilleArrowThe Flash and the upcoming Supergirl. As far as his former dealings with the Dark Knight, his graphic novel Batman: Earth One is worth checking out but it’s nothing stupendous.

I’m not ecstatic or morose about Johns’ presence, but I am elated that David Goyer’s name is becoming more and more distant from the DC universe. That guy needs to disappear if DC wants any chance of establishing a coherent and enjoyable world. At least I know that the new Batman won’t end with a ticking time-bomb scenario like every single one of Goyer’s DC scripts.

Johns has some solid geek cred, and he’s secretly been vying for the position of the “DC on film” shepherd a la Kevin Feige. He is listed as an executive producer on Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticeSuicide SquadWonder Woman, and Justice League: Part One, so locking in to that position seems very probable. Heck, if DC is giving him the script to their flagship character, that’s a pretty ringing endorsement on their part. Considering that he’s the only one who has posited that the DC TV shows and films might cross paths thanks to the idea of the Multiverse (which I’m very in favor of), I think this could be one of the best choices DC has made in a long list of controversial ones.

But hey, we won’t know anything solid until the film lands (and how well Batfleck is received next year), which is probably going to be some time in 2018. As someone who wants to believe that DC can figure their shit out, this seems like a step in a better direction.

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