Ben Affleck will not be directing The Batman solo movie for Warner Bros. Affleck will still be playing billionaire Bruce Wayne and his alter ego in the upcoming film.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement.
“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 was confirmed as the director of the standalone Batman film last April at Cinemacon by Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara. Affleck’s decision to step down as director comes after the box office and critical failure of his most recent directorial effort, Live By Night. He has been working on the screenplay for The Batman with DC Films co-chair Geoff Johns.
“Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life,” the studio said in a statement.
Affleck first played the superhero in Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. He will next appear as Batman in Justice League, which opens on November 17. Joe Manganiello will play Deathstroke. Jeremy Irons will play Alfred and J.K. Simmons will play Commissioner Gordon. Affleck also played George Reeves, the actor who played Superman in Hollywoodland (2006), directed by Allen Coulter and written by Paul Bernbaum.
An official release date for The Batman hasn’t been set, although it appears to have taken precedence over Justice League 2, which recently lost its release date, sparking speculation that it would be replaced by this film. The complete DC superhero movie release calendar can be found here.