Whether the setback of Live by Night has damaged the confidence of the filmmaker or not, but it is now 100% official that The Batman will not have Ben Affleck on board as a director. The DC sequel/spinoff has been in flux for quite some time. And, while millions were excited at the prospect of seeing the man that brought us The Town and Argo do likewise for the franchise, the 44-year old has relinquished that role.
The good news is that he will still very much be part of the project as he fronts Justice League later in the year. Staying on as a producer as well as the face of the film in the leading role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, Affleck argued that he could not fulfill all three departments and make the movie a stellar success.
Ben Worried About Getting Stretched In Blockbuster
Providing a public statement about his decision that he reached this week, Affleck explained that the call was a joint one between himself and Warner Brothers. Now DC films and WB are on the look out for another director, the actor said he can focus all his energies into performing and producing.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck started in a statement. “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.”
Shortlist Already Out With Apes Director In Frame
Barely hours into the news that was made official, it appears Affleck, DC and Warner Brothers were already coming to this conclusion some time ago. Initial reports suggest that Matt Reeves from War for the Planet of the Apes is an early frontrunner, beating out some other contenders that might come into the frame the longer this process lingers.
The November 17 debut of Justice League will be a gauge as to the standing of the franchise, with Affleck fronting the character for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and a small cameo in Suicide Squad. Should the actor get someone on board that fulfills his vision, then the movie could be salvaged after all.