Ben Affleck Out as ‘The Batman’ Director

Big news from The Batman movie. Ben Affleck has decided to drop out as director, though he’ll still play Batman.

According to Affleck’s statement:

“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.”

That’s the official stance.

The non-official view could be that Affleck is losing his box office power. Doing double duty won’t help the film. More than that though, the fact that Affleck’s recently directed film, Live by Night, is a flop and could lose $75 million doesn’t help.

It could be a blessing in disguise though. If Affleck bombed on this Batman movie, he’d really be in the hole. That’d be multiple bombs in the last few years. If they find a director able to put out a really good Batman, and get a good performance from Affleck, that might give him some leverage. Then, he could get more leeway in directing another film, which is what he likes to do anyway. Without a hit, he’s not getting that leverage.

Variety says Matt Reeves, director of the upcoming War for the Planet of the Apes, is in consideration. That could end up being ironic. Now if War for the Planet of the Apes bombs, Warner Bros. will be stuck with an actor whose past movies have bombed, and a director whose most recent big budget movie also flopped. How do you sell that?

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