In what has become one of the more riveting narratives in Hollywood, Ben Affleck has once again made headlines by announcing that he will not be directing The Batman solo film for DC after all. Variety broke the news on Monday, citing sources who say Affleck made the decision based on what he thought would be best for the film, as opposed to a reaction to the disappointing box office returns of Live By Night.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Affleck said in a statement regarding the decision. “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. chimed in with a statement of its own, adding that it “fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision” and will work with him to find a new director to “bring a standalone Batman picture to life.” For the time being, sources say that Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is on the shortlist.
This isn’t the first time Affleck has flip-flopped on his involvement with The Batman. In fact, earlier this month he claimed there was “no script,” but that might have just been his frustration coming to the surface. Either way, the DC Extended Universe is once again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.