Variety is reporting that Ben Affleck is stepping down as director of The Batman. However, he will remain as a producer and will play film’s lead role.
Affleck said in a 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.”
Affleck and Warner Bros. will now begin searching for a new director. Sources say there is a shortlist, and that War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves is among those on that list.
Warner Bros. Pictures was gracious with Affleck’s exit as director:
“Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.”
The Batman, which is written by Affleck and Geoff Johns, is still in pre-production. A release date hasn’t been set. Joe Manganiello will be the villain Deathstroke in the film. Jeremy Irons as Alfred and J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon will probably show up as well.