Ben Affleck had given an ultimatum for directing The Batman that he’d only direct if the script was up to snuff. We had assumed with Ben co-writing with DC Entertainment’s Geoff Johns he’d be able to make the script work and things would just move along as planned.
That isn’t the case, as an official statement via THR that Affleck has now exited as the film’s director and hopes to partner with his replacement on the film.
“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.”
The move has been in the works for several weeks now, according to a source.
“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 in a statement.
Variety’s Justin Kroll has Tweeted out that there’s a shortlist of potential replacements that include director Matt Reeves.
Hearing Matt Reeves is high on the list of directors they are looking at
— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) January 31, 2017
Matt Reeves is responsible for some really interesting genre work that includes Cloverfield, Let Me In, Dawn of The Planet of The Apes, and War For The Planet of The Apes. He’s not exactly the first name we’d think of to direct The Batman but it’s also not a bad idea either.
I’m sure we’ll learn the other names on the shortlist very soon.
We had word that The Batman had originally been planning an April-May production start but that remains up-in-the-air with Ben’s recent exit.
SOURCE: THR & VARIETY