After a LONG back and forth, it’s official, Ben Affleck will NOT be directing The Batman. This comes via Variety, who reports that the legendary award-winning actor and director has stepped down from the role in the film.
Now, some key context here, this is apparently a “mutual” decision between Affleck and Warner Bros., which is key. Also, there’s some interesting insight via the statement Affleck has given:
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said 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.”
Two things are of note here, one, Affleck believes he can’t direct and star in this film because of the need to be the best Batman he can be. Second, he notes that HE is looking for a director to collaborate with, which means while he may not be directing the film, he’ll have a hand in choosing his replacement. This may be key, as fans have had mixed reactions to the selections Warner Bros. has made for who directs the DCEU films.
Now, does this spell doom for The Batman? Not exactly, until we know who is directing it, it’s too early to judge. Plus, Affleck has confirmed that he is still producing the film, so it’ll have his touches behind the scenes as well as in front of it. So for now, I say we be calm, and let the process work itself out.