The Batman won't begin filming until 2018 (at the earliest)

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Apr 27, 2017, 11:52 AM EDT (Updated)

The plight to get Warner Bros.' The Batman movie just got more complicated when star Ben Affleck recently announced the completion of an alcohol addiction program.

This, added to newly attached director Matt Reeves being contractually obligated to stay on War of the Planet of the Apes until at least July 1, means the Dark Knight solo feature won't begin filming until 2018 at the earliest.

It seems like it's been years since the Affleck-directed Batman movie was first announced and Magic Mike's Joe Manganiello announced his being cast as Deathstroke. Since then, the project began to unravel with rumors, then facts, as Affleck officially left the director's chair back in January. Script development issues, the halt of any further casting and Affleck's admitted substance abuse contributing to the bumpy start are all piling up to shove this once-promising stand-alone picture far into the future.

Here's Affleck's statement via his Facebook page:

"I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I've dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I'm lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I've done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery."

Whether Affleck's alcoholism was a major factor in his bowing out of the director's chair is unclear, but the mounting pressures of captaining and starring in another superhero spectacle after his work in Zack Snyder's Justice League and the despair over his Live by Night flop certainly would weigh heavy on anyone.

What do you think of these further delays?

(via Comic Book Movie)