Ever since Ben Affleck was tapped to succeed Christian Bale as Batman, fans suspected that Affleck wasn't just brought into the DC Extended Universe just for his acting talents. Sure enough, it was confirmed early last year that not only was Affleck co-writing the upcoming Batman solo movie, but he would also direct it. However, in the past couple weeks, reports and rumors cast doubt on whether Affleck would still helm the project, and now it's official: he will not direct the Caped Crusader's new movie.
Although Ben Affleck is no longer directing the DCEU Batman movie, he is still attached to star as Bruce Wayne, as well as produce the project. According to Variety, the actor and Warner Bros realized this was the best way to move forward, and now the search is underway for a replacement. Here's Affleck's full 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.
Concerns over Ben Affleck stepping down as the Batman movie's director erupted when Affleck stated earlier this month that if the script didn't come together, he wouldn't stay on as director. Following that comment, Affleck did his best to assure fans that nothing was set in stone yet, but now we know that he is indeed stepping down so he can dedicate more time to focus on his performance. No doubt Live by Night's financial failure also didn't help matters, and now Warner Bros has decided to find someone else to lead the charge on Gotham City's Dark Knight. This also means that the production delay reported three weeks ago is more likely, though not guaranteed.
So far the only major news released about the DCEU's Batman movie has been casting related. Along with ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, Jeremy Irons and J.K. Simmons will reprise Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner James Gordon, respectively, and Joe Manganiello as been cast as Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke. It's worth noting that this isn't the only DCEU-related shakeup that Warner Bros has had to deal with. Patty Jenkins was hired to replace Michelle McLaren on Wonder Woman back in 2014, and The Flash has lost two directors within the last year.
You can see Ben Affleck back in the cape and cowl when Justice League is released on November 17. In the meantime, stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the Batman movie, including who will be hired as the new director.