Ben Affleck Drops Out of Directing THE BATMAN
After officially announcing the solo Batman film last April, Warner Brothers confirmed in July 2016 that Ben Affleck – who stars as the most recent cinematic iteration of the Dark Knight – would serve as director of the pending film. Today, Affleck is out as director of The Batman.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck shared in a statement. “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.”
Affleck, who debuted as the character in last spring’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, will still star as Bruce Wayne / Batman, reprising the role for a fourth time after making a brief appearance in last summer’s Suicide Squad and starring in Justice League, out this November. Warner Brothers recently ordered a page-one rewrite on The Flash after losing director Rick Famuyiwa, the second director to depart the project.
We can expect more to come out about Affleck’s departure in the coming weeks, months or years, but right now it’s a particularly unfortunate loss. Affleck was the pick of many to helm The Batman, said to have a “really cool” script co-written by Affleck. The lukewarm reception of Live by Night – Affleck’s most recent directorial project – may play a part in Affleck’s decision to drop out of The Batman, or maybe it’s the same “creative differences” with the studio that drove two different filmmakers away from The Flash. Recent rumors outright called the upcoming Wonder Woman “disjointed,” accusing the film of having “the same problems” that have plagued Warner Brothers’ DC Cinematic Universe installments thus far, and while Affleck’s departure from the director’s chair isn’t the end of the world, it could suggest behind-the-scenes struggles for the studio and their financially successful but critically derided interconnected on-screen universe.
“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. Justice League arrives November 17th.