If you couldn’t wait to see Ben Affleck’s directorial style applied to The Batman, well, I have bad news for you.
Variety is reporting that Affleck and Warner Brothers have come to the mutual agreement that the hyphenate would step down as director of the forthcoming film, while remaining on board as co-screenwriter, star and producer.
Affleck released this 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.
Of course, it would be easy to read between the lines here. Affleck has stated over and over again that he wants to take his time doing the movie so it is done right. Warner Brothers seems to want The Batman in theaters by 2018. And since the last picture that Affleck took his time making was the critical and financial bomb Live By Night, the studio got its way. However, the article states that the failure of that film had no impact on Affleck stepping down as director.
As for who will fill Affleck’s shoes, Variety states that Matt Reeves is in the lead for the job. Affleck was originally supposed to go into production on the film this summer, so that might give you some idea of a deadline for the new director to sign on.