Deadline is reporting tonight that Ben Affleck will not direct The Batman anymore, with Warner Bros. eyeing Captain Fantastic helmer Matt Ross to replace him. He’s still set to star, however, and in a statement released to the press, the actor explained why he dropped out of the director’s chair.
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.
Warner Bros. also commented on the news, saying that they “fully support Ben Affleck’s decision and remain committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.” Whether or not there’s something else going on behind the scenes here is hard to say, but having Affleck pull out of directing certainly isn’t a promising sign.
Then again, it’s not terribly surprising. We’ve been hearing for months now that Big Ben hasn’t been fully confident in the project and he’s always said that unless he’s 110% on board with it, he won’t direct. It seems that’s exactly what’s happened now, as THR reports that Affleck wasn’t happy with the script and seemingly wasn’t able to settle his differences with the studio.
As for who will replace him, well, as we mentioned above, Ross is a potential candidate at the moment and we’re also hearing that Warner Bros. has their eye on Matt Reeves. No word yet on who’s the frontrunner, or who else the studio may be looking at, but we expect to have a replacement shortly as WB is already meeting with directors for The Batman and should settle on someone very soon.