Ben Affleck is still Batman, but now he's going to stay out of the director's chair when it comes to the character.
Variety reports that Affleck has withdrawn from directing Batman's next solo film -- titled The Batman for the moment -- in order to devote more energy to simply playing the role. The move comes after weeks of whispers about script trouble and persistent rumors that Affleck would drop the directing gig.
"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."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, one source said the poor performance of Affleck's latest directorial effort, Live by Night, helped motivate the decision, but Variety's sources deny that claim. Meanwhile, Affleck remains co-writer on the project alongside DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns.
So, what happens to The Batman now? Well, it's still happening, and prep could still begin this summer ahead of the November release of Justice League. Variety also reports that Warner Bros. already has a shortlist to replace Affleck as director, including War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves, which would be a very interesting choice indeed.
Who do you think would make a good director for The Batman?