Bad news for fans of Ben Affleck, the director: he will no longer be helming “The Batman.” Yet he’ll still be heavily involved with the project, as the multihyphenate is staying on as both producer and star of the upcoming Warner Bros. superhero film.
Affleck confirmed the news via a statement to Variety, in which he explains that he needs to focus all of his attention to playing the superhero.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck commented. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Sources close to the production tell Variety that the decision was reached between Warner Bros. and Affleck after discussing what would be best for the project, and had nothing to do with the box office disappointment of Affleck’s latest film, “Live by Night.”
“Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life,” the studio said in a statement.
According to the report, “War of the Planet of Apes” helmer Matt Reeves is among the possible candidates to take over directing duties.
Affleck, who co-wrote the script for the new solo Batman film with Geoff Johns, first appeared as the superhero in last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”