Ben Affleck will no longer direct the new solo Batman movie

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Ben Affleck won’t direct the next Batman movie, according to an official statement released yesterday by the actor. While Affleck is out of the director’s chair, he is still the star, co-writer, and one of the producers of The Batman.

In the statement, Affleck said the following:

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.

Over the last few weeks there were hints that The Batman might have hit a snag. In interviews, Affleck was reluctant to discuss a start date for the movie. He also suggested that the script (co-written with Geoff Johns) wasn’t coming together in a satisfactory way.

According to Variety, unnamed sources say that Affleck’s decision was not prompted by the poor reception to his film Live by Night. Other sources with Variety say that Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is on the shortlist of directors Warner Bros. would like to takeover the reins of The Batman. Other rumored directors whose names have popped up online include George Miller, Gavin O’Connor, and Denis Villeneuve.

This is just the latest setback for DC’s cinematic universe. Last week various outlets reported that the Flash film is undergoing a page-one rewrite from Joby Harold. Seth Grahame-Smith (who wrote the initial screenplay) and Rick Famuyiwa were previously attached to direct The Flash, but each left due to creative differences. The Flash is still looking for a director as of this writing. It’s unclear if it is still on track for a 2018 release.

What do you think about Affleck stepping away from The Batman as a director? Who do you think should helm the film? Let us know in the comments.

[via Variety]