Just a few days after learning that Ben Affleck’s latest film Live By Night will result in a $75 million loss for Warner Brothers, it appears that the unfortunate flop is starting to have some repercussions on his future projects. Affleck is apparently stepping down as the director of the next DC standalone Batman movie, entitled The Batman, which he had been attached to helm for a while now. It is said to have been a mutual decision between himself and the higher-ups at Warner Brothers “solely made based on what’s best for the project.” He will still star in the film and remains involved as a producer as well. Ben Affleck had this to say about the announcement:
“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.”
Cue the sad Ben Affleck memes. Word on the street is that they are already looking at other directors for the project, which is believed to be aiming for a 2018 release date. Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is rumoured to be on the shortlist. It’s too bad that Affleck will not get a shot at directing this and I find it hard to believe that Live By Night had nothing to do with it. It either shook his confidence in himself as a filmmaker or the studio’s confidence in his ability to do multiple jobs at once, but he still seemingly had what it takes to turn Batman into a gritty crime flick. That being said, I suppose there aren’t very many people who have simultaneously directed and starred in blockbusters of this magnitude. Are you disappointed by this news? Who would you like to see direct The Batman instead?