Today is a day of mourning for DC fans. Nobody has died, but Ben Affleck dropping out of the director's chair for the solo Batman movie has had a profoundly devastating impact on all of us. One of the DCEU's most important solo films has officially lost one of Warner Bros.' most invaluable directors, with Ben Affleck stating that he made the decision to give up the directing responsibilities to focus on his role as The Caped Crusader. Although that seems like a perfectly reasonable rationale on the surface, it also kind of doesn't make much sense coming from a guy like Affleck. Allow me to explain.
Let's clarify something: Ben Affleck dropping out as this movie's director isn't necessarily surprising. It's his particular reason that's surprising. You're telling me that Affleck doesn't want to direct the solo Batman movie because he's worried about losing focus as an actor? The guy resurrected his career by directing himself in critically acclaimed films like The Town and Argo. Hell, he won an Academy Award for his work on Argo while playing the lead role. If any highly regarded contemporary filmmaker knows how to balance acting and directing a film simultaneously, it's Ben Affleck. And Clint Eastwood. But mainly Ben Affleck.
It's that simple fact that leads me to believe that something more complicated is going on behind the scenes at DC. Ben Affleck has been hounded for months by fans and members of the press demanding more and more details about the project, and he has made no secret of the frustration he feels as a result. This raises the distinct possibility and concern that Affleck may be trying to distance himself from DC gradually. Does this mean that DC could soon potentially lose the best thing that they have going for themselves in front of the camera as well? We cannot know for sure, but it has become increasingly clear that things are as uneasy as they have ever been for the greater DCEU.
Then there's the matter of Live By Night's recent disappointment for Warner Bros. Affleck's gangster movie utterly flopped (his first real failure as a director) and resulted in a $75 million loss for the studio. With that in mind, it's possible that the powers that be at DC and Warner Bros. don't see him as a safe bet for the solo Batman movie anymore. Only time will tell as more details flow out in the coming weeks.
What's your take on this development? Do you think Ben Affleck is forthright about his reasons for walking away from the director's chair, or do you think that there might be a bigger issue at play here? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Make sure to stay tuned for more developments about the solo Batman movie -- as well as the rest of the DCEU. Ben Affleck's Batman is currently set to make his next appearance in Zack Snyder's Justice League on November 17, 2017.
Check out a trailer for Justice League on the next page for a closer look at the upcoming DC team-up adventure!