The story, on the surface, never made a ton of sense. Ben Affleck, a prolific actor/writer/director who has directed himself in multiple projects (including the Best Picture-winning Argo) dropped out of the Batman directing gig because it became clear that directing and starring in the project would be too much? If anyone understood the demand of directing and starring in a major project, it was Ben Affleck. Now, however, the actor has admitted that he has completed treatment for alcohol addiction, and suddenly, the truth of the situation seems a little more clear.
Ben Affleck posted the following statement to his Facebook page, explaining:
I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I'm lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery.
Ben Affleck's public persona has been on a roller coaster as of late. His longtime marriage to fellow actor Jennifer Garner has been on the rocks, then on the mend. Professionally, Affleck has been holding down a corner of the DC Cinematic Universe, starring in both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the upcoming Justice League, while also preparing to co-write, direct and star in the planned solo Batman movie. Then, Affleck dropped out. His official statement gave the reason as the following:
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.
Yet, at the time, Forbes went on record to say that Ben Affleck might have been departing the project -- at least in the capacity as a director -- to "focus on working out personal issues." That could have been his marriage problems with Jennifer Garner. But now, following the actor's admission, it likely referred to the treatment Affleck was receiving for his alcohol addiction, and suddenly, a picture that was decidedly murky has become far more clear.
Stepping back and surveying the landscape, this appears to be a win for everyone involved, which isn't something I thought we could say when it was first revealed that Ben Affleck would depart the director's chair for Batman. The studio replaced Affleck with Matt Reeves, a genius filmmaker. Affleck has agreed to star in the film, and he's a fantastic Bruce Wayne AND Caped Crusader. And the man is receiving the help that he needs for a dangerous addiction. We couldn't be happier for Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner and their family.