Variety is reporting that Ben will no longer Direct The Batman movie:
Ben Affleck has decided to step down as director of “The Batman” and remain on as a producer and star of the project.
Affleck is still on board to play the superhero, but sources close to the talent said Affleck and Warner Bros. discussed how to make the best film possible and this was the decision both parties came to.
“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 and Warner Bros. will now begin searching for a new 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 studio said a statement.
Affleck has completed work as the Caped Crusader in “Justice League,” which opens Nov. 17, and he was preparing to go into prep on the solo “Batman” movie this summer. Affleck co-wrote the script with Geoff Johns.
There had been rumblings that Affleck was considering not directing the film during the past month, but in recent weeks sources say the multi-hyphenate came to the decision it was best to let the directing job go and focus on playing the part.
He first appeared as the superhero in last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Also, Justice League will not have 2 parts, it’ll be just one movie.
When it was first announced that Batman would play a major role in the Man of Steel follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, audiences reasonably assumed that Warner Bros. would be forging ahead with a new iteration of the character despite the fact that Christopher Nolan had only just wrapped up his take on Batman with The Dark Knight Rises. Batman is one of the most iconic characters in pop culture history, so obviously Warner Bros. wasn’t just going to sit on that character forever—and then with the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne things got even more interesting.
Rumors swirled for some time that Affleck may or may not be directing his own Batman movie as part of the DC Extended Universe, and confirmation finally came earlier this year along with the news that Affleck is working on the script with DC Films co-head Geoff Johns. But when, exactly, can we expect this new Batman movie to be in theaters?
When Collider’s own Steve Weintraub was on the set of Justice League last week along with a group of reporters, Affleck was asked about the status of said Batman movie, and he gave a promising update:“I think they have a date for it. Although, I don’t know if I would necessarily be able to make that date because I don’t have a script that’s ready yet. So that’s my—my timetable is I’m not going to make a movie until there’s a script that I think is good because I’ve been on the end of the things when you make movies when you have a script that’s not good yet and it doesn’t pan out.” [laughs]
Affleck is well aware not only of the iconography of the character but also the danger of rushing into production on blockbusters to meet a release date, and the Oscar-winning Argo filmmaker is taking special care into ensuring that this Batman is the best version of the film he could possibly make:“I have a script, we’re still working on it, and I’m not happy enough with it yet to actually go out there and make a Batman movie, for which I have the highest of standards, I would say. That’s something that would have to pass a very high bar for me. It’s not just like, ‘Yeah, that might be fun, let’s go try this out.’”
In the meantime, Affleck is plenty busy. He’s in post-production on his long-awaited Argo follow-up Live by Night, also for Warner Bros., and the DC Extended Universe is certainly robust with Wonder Woman serving as a precursor to next November’s release of Justice League, which will be followed by The Flash and Aquaman. So while WB may have an internal date in mind for Affleck’s Batman, he’s not the type to rush these things, and he certainly has the clout to say “Hold your horses” if WB starts to get impatient. Long story short: the standalone Batman movie is probably Affleck’s next directorial effort, but it won’t move forward to production until Affleck is 100% happy with the script.
At the Warner Bros. panel at CinemaCon in Las Vegas Tuesday evening, CEO Kevin Tsujihara first took the stage to give a general rundown of upcoming movies from the studio. After saying they have “at least 10” DC Comics movies coming in the next five years., Tsujihara finally gave studio confirmation to a long-rumored product.
“We’re working with Ben Affleck on a standalone Batman movie,” the CEO announced.
This is the first confirmation from a Warner Bros. executive that the movie exists, though there have been little quotes and hints here and there about the film. The rumors that Affleck would be writing and starring in a Batman film, possibly directing as well, have been going almost since he was cast in the role. More recently, it was said that he and Geoff Johns, CCO of DC Entertainment, were working on the script together.
That rumor was backed up by a talent agency CEO who said “there’s a script [Affleck]’s written that’s a really cool [Batman] idea.” Affleck himself said that “Geoff Johns is a brilliant guy. He and I are working together on something and I really am excited about it, and I love him, he’s the best.”