Despite Ben Affleck hinting he would direct, produce, write, and star in The Batman, a new report from Variety claims otherwise. Instead, the actor will simply produce, write, and star in the movie, handing off directing duties to someone else.
Affleck provided a statement explaining his decision not to direct the film, though he did make it very clear it’s still happening:
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.
Whether Affleck would direct the project has been a point of contention for the past several months. First he suggested he would do it, then he backed off. Later, he again teased he would direct the project, only to clarify his comments. Although it’s disappointing he won’t direct, it’s nice to finally have a definitive answer.
So who will direct?
Affleck and Warner Bros. are apparently searching for someone to take the project over, with War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves among the leading candidates. Any chance Christopher Nolan is free?
Affleck has acted and directed in movies before (The Town, Argo), but it seems The Batman was just too much for one man to handle. It’s unclear how this news will affect the film’s release date, if at all. As of now, the film is expected to be released sometime in 2018.
In any case, you can catch Affleck’s Batman in Justice League when it hits theaters on November 17.