For a couple of months, it appeared that The Batman was going nowhere, due specifically to problems with completing the script. Now, it’s finally happened: Ben Affleck has stepped down from the director's chair. Many fans didn’t want this; however, as we can guess from the actor's statement, those same fans might be responsible for this new turn of events.
Ben Affleck has said repeatedly that Batman is too big a character to allow the movie to fail. At times, he seemed quite annoyed with all the questions people were asking about the solo movie. In his statement, the actor said that certain characters hold a special place in the hearts of millions, and they require passion and focus on the part of the actors who play them. With that, Ben Affleck has realized that he cannot be both star and director of The Batman.
Check out the full statement below:
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 (via Variety).
The studio reps are backing him:
Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck's decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.
Sources also say that this move is in no way a reaction to the fact that Live by Night bombed at the box office and with the critics.
Variety reports that the studio is already in talks with possible directors, and that Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War of the Planet of the Apes) is the main contender.