In a twist that’s maybe not all that surprising if you’ve been following the production of The Batman, Ben Affleck stepped down from the film’s director chair.
According to Variety, who broke the news, Ben Affleck had this to say: “There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” and “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.”
I guess we could look at this in two ways. One, playing a costumed superhero (especially Batman) and also directing that movie was going to be too much of a challenge even for him. Like Ben Affleck said in his statement, he couldn’t do both at the level required of him and thought this would be better for the movie, which I agree with. Or two, he’s lost some of his passion for the project (and can you really blame him?). I’d like to think it’s the former instead of the latter.
Variety’s sources say Warner already have a shortlist for the director job and that Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, War for the Planet of the Apes) is on it. That makes sense since I’m sure they want to stick to their timetable and star filming this year for a 2018 release date. Whichever director they pick, he will end up working very closely with Ben Affleck to bring us hopefully the best capped crusader film they can. So even if the credits won’t say directed by Ben Affleck, he’ll still be there every step of the way, both in front and behind the camera.