When Ben Affleck was touted to direct Warner Bros’ next Batman movie, imaginatively titled The Batman, we all breathed a small sigh of relief. Most of us had just watched Batman V Superman, a 150 minute ordeal from director Zack Snyder which would have been cheaper if he’d just used his iPhone to film himself bashing two action figures together. But Affleck had directing pedigree. He was going to save the DC Extended Universe.
In a twist worthy of the Joker, though, Affleck will no longer be directing. Embodying both Bruce Wayne and Batman is a stretch even for the Batfleck, it seems, and Affleck was also slated to pen the script for the upcoming movie.
Affleck has released a carefully worded statement on the subject:
“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.”
As for who’s stepping in to replace Affleck as director? Variety are reporting Matt Reeves, of Cloverfield, War of the Planet of the Apes and Let Me In, is a shortlisted candidate.
We’re not sure whether this is good or bad news for Batman on the big screen. The DC Expanded Universe has struggled to find coherence at times, and if it continues to struggle in 2017, The Batman might be its last chance.
It won’t stop millions of people going to see these movies, of course. Nothing seems able to stop this juggernaut. It would be nice if one of the films was good though.
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