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I think we can all agree that fans of the DC mythos have had a rough few years. The DCEU has existed on shaky ground from the earliest days of its run, and few developments in recent days have managed to put us at ease. One of the only sources of solace we had within this silver screen universe was the fact that Ben Affleck seemed geared up and ready to go as the director of the solo Batman movie. However, if you're anything like me, you found yourself utterly devastated earlier today when you learned that the talented director would no longer helm the long-awaited project. Ben Affleck is officially out as the man in charge of the solo Batman movie, and I am genuinely worried that this could finally be the straw that breaks the DCEU's back. Now, sit back, relax, and let's unpack this.
Let me make one thing clear: there is no DC character more important than Batman. He's a guaranteed box office draw, and he arguably has the most widespread and rabid fan base of any comic book character in existence. Beyond that, Ben Affleck's take on the character in Batman V Superman and Suicide Squad has widely become known as one of the best aspects of the entire DCEU. If any film in the whole DCEU needed a stable development, and if any film in this silver screen world needed to be a hit, then it had to be the solo Batman movie. With this movie now going through its own behind the scenes turmoil, the DCEU has in many ways lost its anchor -- the thing that kept fans reassured that things would be okay. The longer DC and Warner Bros. wait to find a replacement, the more unease it will create within the fan community.
On a grander scale, Ben Affleck dropping out as the solo Batman movie's director feels symptomatic of even bigger issues. After all, this isn't the first time that a DC movie has struggled to find its footing. The Flash has already gone through two directors (with no replacement for Rick Famuyiwa in sight), and DC has continuously made numerous behind the scenes shuffles and shifts over the course of the last year regarding its slate, as well as its creative team in charge of directing the universe as a whole. The solo Batman movie has officially fallen victim to an issue that has plagued almost every movie on the current DC lineup, and that doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence.
Now for the silver lining. Can we know for sure whether or not this development will sink the DCEU into an even further hole? No, not yet. Deadpool 2 similarly suffered a seemingly enormous setback when Tim Miller stepped down as its director, and that particular project seems to have found new life with John Wick's David Leitch at the helm. It's also worth noting that Ben Affleck is still involved in front of the camera as The Caped Crusader. DC doesn't have the best track record of finding directors quickly (and keeping them attached to projects long term), but they still have a chance to make this work if they hustle like they've never hustled before.
We will bring you more updates about the current status of the solo Batman movie (as well as the rest of the DCEU) as more information becomes available to us.