After close to a month of speculation, Variety reports that Ben Affleck has chosen to not serve as the director for The Batman, but will remain on board the project in the lead role and as a producer. The decision to step down was made by Affleck jointly with Warner Bros. in a move they think will be best for the movie as a whole.
According to a statement made by Affleck, “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.”
There is no official word yet as to who may replace Affleck, but one can expect to start seeing possible names soon. The movie, which has already cast Joe Manganiello as its antagonist Deathstroke, is scheduled to go into pre-production this summer based on a script penned by Affleck and Geoff Johns.
The news, coming immediately after the announcement of The Flash receiving a page one re-write, does not instill confidence in the current status of DC films. Yet, the possibility remains that the decision was made as stated and will allow Affleck to focus on the character of The Batman without having to deal with the full rigors of its production.
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