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Ben Affleck released a statement today (Monday 30th January) in which he has relinquished his role as director for DC/Warner Bros’ ‘The Batman’.
“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.”
The news comes days after Affleck’s latest directorial effort ‘Live by Night’ was revealed to have lost Warner Bros $75million after a woeful showing at the Box Office.
Warner Bros released the following statement in response:
“Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.”
It is thought that the decision for Affleck to step away from the role has been in the making for as long as a few months, with the writer-director-producer hinting at disparity between himself and the studio regarding the movie’s developing script while on Live by Night’s promotional tour.
Though he is set to remain a key figure in the film’s development, the project and release date look set to be put on hold while Affleck and Warner Bros find a director. It is thought that this is a huge blow for all involved as Affleck’s standalone Batman movie had been prioritised ahead of Justice League (2017) in their filming schedule, a purposeful move to minimise the development time and capitalise on the character’s popularity.
There is currently no release date for The Batman which is set to star Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke.