It has emerged over night that the Oscar-winning actor will no longer direct The Batman movie.
He will however stay on as actor and producer on the project. Ben Affleck has been on record previously to state if he didn’t feel it could work then he wouldn’t do it. The news of him stepping down came via Variety whose sources state that it was a mutual decision between Affleck & Warner Bros. Affleck’s statement is as follows:
“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.”
This is of course going to put many people into a state of hysteria over what they will interpret as the apparent collapse of the DC Expanded Universe. However, it is still too early to really think that when what we have here is a very talented actor, writer and director literally doing what he feels is best for the project. If Affleck stepping aside means we get a better Batman movie (he seems to think so) then so be it. That’s what matters.
The biggest question is, who now steps into fill Affleck’s shoes? The Variety story quotes Matt Reeves of the rejuvenated Planet of the Apes franchise, which would be a good choice given how bloody brilliant those movies have been. In reality, there will be no shortage of names linked to possibly the biggest character in pop culture history.
One name on Nerd Lowdown’s wish list? The man who delivered us the first two Avengers movies, Firefly and much more – Joss Whedon. He has shown with the Avengers movies he can handle a movie which contains many characters who are all big big names. Batman’s roster of characters is one of the biggest out of any comic book franchise, and that’s before we even looks at his Rogues Gallery. We’re just talking the good guys. Secondly, Whedon also displayed on many occasions through his work an ability to add brevity yet contain a certain darkness. After the grim Batman v Superman, this may be exactly what the Batman movies need. Batman is a character and a franchise that needs a certain darkness surrounding it, but to not have at least touch of lightness and humour would really make it a dull affair. It was fine, for this writer, in the context of Batman v Superman given the source material it took from but going forward that cannot go on. Whether Whedon wants to step on board another tentpole franchise after the Avengers is a different story…
What the future holds for The Batman, nobody knows for certain. We’ll keep you updated as news breaks but the important thing is nobody panics. Right, RIGHT?!