Ben Affleck Won't Direct THE BATMAN After All

For the past couple years, Ben Affleck has been attached to direct his own solo Batman movie, which he will also star in. The project is tentatively titled The Batman, and he is co-writing the script with Geoff Johns. But in recent weeks, Affleck has repeatedly discusses his involvement during press junkets, and the excessive attention clearly put pressure on him.

Now, the movie needs a new director. Variety has confirmed that Affleck has stepped down as director of The Batman. This decision follows discussions between Affleck and Warner Bros. on how to make the best movie they can. However, Affleck is still on board to star in and produce the film.

Affleck says the following in a statement. "There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. 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." In a separate statement, the studio says, "Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life."

The search is now on for a new director. Variety says that the studio already has a shortlist, and War for the Planet of the Apes helmer Matt Reeves is among the names mentioned. Deadline adds that Captain Fantastic director Matt Ross is also on the list. Production was previously on track to begin this spring or summer. Depending on when a director is hired, that time table could change.

This is surely disappointing news. The idea of a seasoned filmmaker like Affleck making a Batman movie excited fans for the last few years. But ultimately, it just wasn't meant to be. And who knows, maybe this could be a blessing in disguise. Affleck can now focus solely on his acting for this film, and given his incredibly busy schedule in recent years, it gives him less to worry about, especially if a strong director is hired.

The Batman will also star Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon.

Stay tuned for more news as we have it.

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