Batman Ben Affleck will not direct ‘The Batman’ written by Sean Gerber January 30, 2017 The director many fans wanted to succeed Christopher Nolan in the next chapter of the Batman franchise has stepped down. Ben Affleck will not direct The Batman despite being attached to direct a solo Bat-movie since he was cast as The Dark Knight in Batman v Superman and the DCEU three and a half years ago. Affleck explained his decision in an exclusive statement to Variety. “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.” Variety reports that War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is on the short list to replace Affleck. It may be some time before we learn the identity of the new director on The Batman, but for now, the studio is standing by Affleck’s decision. “Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.” There is no question that this news is a huge blow to the DC Extended Universe, which has already been battling problems with public perception since the critical failure and box office underperformance of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice last year. The Ben Affleck-directed Batman movie has been the one thing even BvS‘ harshest critics have believed Warner Bros. could count on to possibly turn things around if Wonder Woman and Justice League fail to do so later this year. That Justice League finished production long enough ago for a first editor’s cut to exist and have been seen by Affleck makes me wonder if Affleck has indeed seen it and if he believes JL really will turn things around for DC Films. We can all understand the point that there are only 24 hours in a day and how difficult it would be to both star in and direct a Batman movie, but this was something everyone knew going into it. It’s something everyone still understood while Affleck played Batman in two films. This reasoning is based on old information, which makes it very likely that we’re not getting the whole story. This isn’t only about Affleck’s ability to focus on playing the role the way it deserves to be played. It’s not hard to see that the momentum on The Batman has been moving in one direction for a number of months. From Ben Affleck’s repeated noncommittal answers about the film, to a publicly acknowledged push in the start of production, to today’s news of Affleck no longer directing, The Batman has consistently moved further and further away from where and what fans have hoped it could be. It is not a stretch at all to question whether or not Ben Affleck will actually star in The Batman, despite his statement that he will. After all, he told Jimmy Kimmel that he was still directing the movie on national television just a few weeks ago. If there’s one thing we’ve learned about The Batman so far, it’s that we can’t really count on anything regarding The Batman. Internally, if there is any doubt as to whether or not Affleck will play Batman in the solo movie, that is the kind of news Warner Bros. must keep a lid on until after Justice League. Today’s news is bad enough, but Warner Bros. can still save some face by hiring a director and maybe even announcing a summer 2019 release date (because 2018 is likely gone now) to give the new director time to go over the script and properly plan the production. If cameras are not rolling on The Batman by the time Justice League hits theaters and then JL suffers a reception similar to that of Batman v Superman, then don’t be surprised if you see another statement like today’s in Variety in the weeks or months after JL. Personally, I won’t be surprised if there’s another shoe and it drops before Justice League. Ben Affleck will not direct ‘The Batman’ was last modified: January 31st, 2017 by Sean Gerber Related The Batman 4 comments 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Sean Gerber Sean Gerber is the founder and editor-in-chief of Modern Myth Media. When he's not writing here, you can catch him as the host of Popular Opinion Podcast, Batman News, and Marvel News! previous post Weekly Ratings Roundup: January 22 to 28, 2017 next post Disney’s final ‘Beauty and the Beast’ trailer promises everything you loved about the animated classic You may also like Affleck Can’t Contain Batman Excitement With Jimmy... September 17, 2013 Review: THE DARK KNIGHT MANUAL June 14, 2012 Review – BATMAN V SUPERMAN Is A... March 24, 2016 ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ Trailer #3 May 1, 2012 Batman Revealed In MAN OF STEEL Sequel! May 13, 2014 L.A. Live Showcases THE DARK KNIGHT LEGEND November 30, 2012 World’s Finest Film Announcement Coming VERY Soon? July 20, 2013 Tom Hardy On Masking His Rise to... May 23, 2012 Photos: Warner Bros. Batman 75th Anniversary Exhibit July 3, 2014 ‘Legends of the Knight’ Will Soon Be... April 13, 2012 Adrian Edmondson Sean , couldn’t agree more with your last sentence ” Personally, I won’t be surprised if there’s another shoe and it drops before Justice League.”. I hope WW turns out well in a months along with JL . Looking forward to the podcast Oreole I hope if they do find a director that they don’t become some hired stooge where the star and producer are the ones who are calling the shots, while director is regulated to the sidelines when post-production starts cause god we’ve seen that so many times before. Guy Turner ‘I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director.’ This reads to me like – I am under contract to be in the movie so I will be but I don’t want to be involved anymore than I have to be! Hey berto There is so much space to interpret, it’s hard to know where the truth lies.. you and Andy on the podcast gave a great analysis on the possibilities, and I have some ancillary thoughts. 1. I don’t want to discount anything, but I really think this might just be Affleck means what he says. He just can’t do both right now effectively, and he wants to deliver the best Batman movie he can and a movie as intense to make as a Batman movie would be, deserves to have the lead actor and the director focused on their roles. This strikes me as a bit of burnout. 2. This strikes me as him godfathering the thing. The movie he wants gets made his way, and the Director role is reduced in this case. He gets it ready, someone else deals with the headaches of shooting and post production, with his approval being a key component. 3. The project would benefit greatly for someone with some passion and excitement for it. I don’t hear Ben bringing that to the table.. at least, not yet. 4. I could see this dropping off further as Sean does if the pressure comes too hard and Affleck just wants out, but I’m not prepared to say that the studio is holding off any impending news of him leaving the project entirely. I know studios aren’t beyond a few fabrications to preserve profits, but I also think Ben wouldn’t have released the statement he did if he weren’t actively still involved. It wasn’t that carefully worded. 5. I do wonder if WB mandated the change.