Ben Affleck Will Not Direct ‘The Batman’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Ben Affleck Batman
REX/Shutterstock

Ben Affleck has decided to step down as director of “The Batman” and remain on as a producer and star of the project.

Affleck is still on board to play the superhero, but sources close to the talent said Affleck and Warner Bros., after discussing how to best make the film possible, came to the decision together.

“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.”

Sources say this decision was solely made based on what’s best for the project and had nothing to do with the recent disappointment of Affleck’s recent directing job “Live by Night.”

Affleck and Warner Bros. will now begin searching for a new director. Sources say there is a shortlist and that “War for the Planet of the Apes” helmer Matt Reeves is among those on the list.

“Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life,” the studio said a statement.

Affleck has completed work as the Caped Crusader in “Justice League,” which opens Nov. 17, and he was preparing to go into prep on the solo “Batman” movie this summer. Affleck co-wrote the script with Geoff Johns.

There had been rumblings that Affleck was considering not directing the film during the past month, but in recent weeks sources say the multi-hyphenate came to the decision it was best to let the directing job go and focus on playing the part.

He first appeared as the superhero in last year’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

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  1. Emily says:

    Why are people hating on Affleck? He has already done so much for the movie itself, it must be extremely draining to both star and direct a movie as big as Batman, with high Hollywood expectations. I get the fans want something more, I can’t argue with that; but people need to place themselves in Affleck’s shoes. I myself have never seen Affleck star as batman, but I can imagine with his past performances he probably presents a great portrayal. I’m just interested to see what director they pick out of the hat.

  2. Making another ‘Batman’ after Nolan is a terrible idea. You won’t be able to top it. Think of something new.

    • Brian Urso says:

      I know i was excited i saw the yahoo headline and i thought he quit the ROLE! LOL. He is awful as batman, will never ever ever top bale. those movies were iconic.. Snyder is just a fucking douchebag hiw movies are fucking horrendous. The only reason watchmen was good is that he followed 90% of the comic. Yeah DC needs to get their shit together.

  3. George says:

    Another Batman movie. Hollywood is dead. Can’t they think of anything else. Sick of this.

  4. Felix The Cat says:

    Good. Way to many technical aspect to directing one of these for him to also ‘Star’ in it. How about giving it to Paul Verhoeven? Or John McTiernan? Or Depalma? Those old cats have so many chops and ways to bring something NEW to this genre as opposed to the current crop that all copy each other. These films NEED a REAL DIRECTOR, not someone with two or three films behind them, but a lifetime of varied work from which they can pull from. If they need to go with someone current, you could do a lot worse than Bryan Singer. Still like his Superman, although it was way too long. Studio needs a to hand this off to someone with real chops and vision. Ben will still get all the stuff he wanted, but a real old time Director will give it soul. IMHO

    • Reality Biter says:

      John McTiernan has a slim to zero chance of ever working in Hollywood again. The former A-list director began serving a prison term in 2013, for lying to the FBI about hiring former private investigator Anthony Pellicano to wiretap producer Charles Roven (they worked together on 2002’s Rollerball). Three years have passed since his 2014 release, and there’s no sign of McTiernan even being on the radar to direct a studio movie.

  5. Joel says:

    What’s with all the hate towards affleck? He is the most comic accurate batman we have ever gotten, yes he kills, but this is all very much based of the Frank Miller version of the character, who did flat out kill certain people, but his batman is dark, brooding and menacing, it sounds like to me you’re all just finding something to complain about.

  6. Billy says:

    Well, that’s horrible. I was really looking forward to yet another Batman movie that’s dark, filmed in metallic, 30 minutes too long, with woody, stiff acting and an underlying theme of torment without fulfillment. They have totally destroyed any interest I’ve ever had in Batman, and I grew up reading the comic books and going to comic book stores. Batman is not a neurotic, anal, coldblooded, emotionally confused anti-hero. But whatever…

  7. James Smith says:

    one of the worst batman yet,he comes across as far too feminine and petulant…..It like his whining is about to become crying in far too many scenes.

  8. BKtotherescue says:

    Just letting you know I’m available but my schedule is filling up quickly.

  9. Bob says:

    So another words, now the movie can be a success due to Ben Asslick not being involved?

  10. Thomas R says:

    I’m sorry, but WB and DC really need to get their collective acts together. This could be a good decision and maybe they will get a good movie with a good director, but recent history really makes me worried. I haven’t enjoyed a DC movie since Nolan’s last batman movie. I know I’m in the minority here, but I’ll never understand why people like Man of Steel more than Superman Returns.

    I really wish people would back off the whole DC/Marvel rivalry. A lot of people seem to be entrenched in their respective camps to the point of ignoring reality. I think there is no question that Marvel is putting out superior movies at this point (based both on critical and audience reviews, and financial success). Deadpool beat BvS for domestic gross, which is crazy considering the R rating.That being said, there is certainly room for improvement. X-Men Apocalypse took one of my favorite comic arcs and turned it into mess. Also, Civil War’s motivation felt a little too emo to me. I mean seriously, how are they to blame for the New York invasion or the Winter Soldier events? How dare they allow property damage while fighting an invasion, we all know every invasion in history has been a bloodless and damage free affair!

    I just hope for good movies from both camps in the future. Guardians 2 and Logan are probably the only movies I’m really looking forward to at this point, but will definitely go see WW to support the idea of a female lead superhero movie. I’m also hopeful of JL for the moment, thought the trailer was really good but I can’t help but be a little nervous of Zack Synder movies at this point. I feel like all his movies were ones I really wanted to like but was only able to find entertaining at best. Although I have to give a shout-out to Sucker Punch and it’s super dark and depressing subplot.

  11. M.M. says:

    It’s a start, but he needs to bail completely. He does not play the character “that has a special place in the heart of millions” he plays an insult to that character. He is the face of a stupid and homicidal insult to all Batman is meant to be. The Zack Snyder franchise has to end so that character can return along with the rest of the true DCU.

  12. Sabrina Hill says:

    Start with not having Affleck play Batman. He really doesn’t understand the quality and history of this character. He is my least favorite.

  13. Get Kevin Feige to produce and Jon Favreau to direct .

  14. Rtf says:

    He’s a terrible Batman. Better director. As a lifelong Batman fan i am disappointed.

  15. Guy Naamati says:

    It’s OK, Michael Bay will step up!

    • BKtotherescue says:

      I heard Joel Schumacher was in the running. Lets face it his Batman films were the best by far. He made Clooney a household name, Tommy lee Jones was final recognized as a serious actor, Chris O’Donnell’s career just took off and hasn’t stopped, and do think Jim Carrey would have even been consider for the part in Kick Ass 2 if not for his portrayal as the Riddler. I don’t think so. Alternative facts are Alternative facts and you cant deny that.

      • tjchurch2001 says:

        I liked “Forever”. (I believe it was Bob Kane who was quoted as saying Kilmer was the most like the comic hero in his opinion.)

        However, when you switch to Clooney, you kill it before he puts on the mask: The females (whoever it was that time; I forget) were in love with him because he had millions & looked like Clooney! (Who also already had millions!)

        Kilmer was a great Wayne or Batman! He had already played a hero to Americans in “Top Secret” & “Top Gun”… He is clearly the top one for the role (if Keaton doesn’t want it back).

  16. Teller says:

    Acting while wearing the Bat suit is very uncomfortable. Having to direct while wearing the suit and playing an extremely physical role was probably too much for Affleck. He’s in his forties now and focusing just on playing Batman is arguably the right decision. Duncan Jones may be one to consider for the directing job.

  17. dom says:

    funny…. i hope snyder doesn’t assume the role. he’ll only make irreparable dents on the batman franchise.

  18. CJ says:

    Who cares about any of these left wing idiots, who think they are so righteous. Boycott all their movies, we don’t need to support people who won’t support our government when it is for the best interest of all.

    • Jacob says:

      Why do you idiots have to make everything about politics? You sound just like the morons I’m sure you openly talk shit about boycotting uber and the inauguration. If someone makes content which is entertaining to you, then enjoy it regardless of who it’s coming from and their political views.

    • LaCarn says:

      Go cry on Trump’s shoulder you whiny bitch.

    • Congratulations says:

      What a helpful and relevant comment.

      CJ.. Are you a sidekick from a 1980s TV show?

    • Contin says:

      The vast majority of actors, writers, directors and producers are liberals. If you boycotted their movies there would be hardly any movies left to see.

  19. Danny Mac says:

    Wow, reading some of these comments is just sad and disgusting.

    #1 – Ben Affleck is still a HUGE draw for box office. The Accountant made $153 million at the box office and is doing excellent on DVD/BluRay/On Demand sales.

    #2 – Ben Affleck has won 2 Academy Awards (Original Screen Play & Best Picture), 3 Golden Globes (Best Writer, Best Director, Best Movie) 2 BAFTA Awards (Direction & Film) plus a nom for Best Actor and the list goes on. Hes MORE than talented enough to write, direct and act

    #3 – Box Office: BVS did $873M, SS did $745M, Gone Girl $369M, Argo $232M, The Town $154M, The Accountant $153M. As an Actor his movies have grossed almost $5Billion world wide. For those saying he can’t draw a crowd .. based on ONE movie (Live by Night) give me a break.

    #4 – Ben LOVES Batman. He LOVES Batman. He understands just how important and huge this movie is. He wants this movie to be a massive commercial and more importantly a critical success. So he is doing the RIGHT thing here by stepping down, and finding a Director who will share his vision and work a long with HIM. WB is going to let Ben do whatever the hell he wants with Batman. That’s the bottom line. People saying this is because of “Live by Night” .. give your head a shake. WB is all in on Ben regardless of how that movie did.

    #5 – Universally people agree that Ben Affleck was the best thing about BVS. People praised his Batman performance and his Bruce Wayne performance. It is incredibly rare to find someone who didn’t like the performance. So Ben is doing the RIGHT thing here by giving 100% to the writing and then giving 100% to the performance. He will pick a very talented Director who like I said, shares his vision and will give us the best possible Batman

    People need to stop with this Marvel Vs DC bs. It’s irritating already. We are all on the same side of wanting to see GOOD Comic Book Movies being made. Who cares which side makes more money, which side is darker, which side is funnier .. just be glad these movies are being made, and enjoy the ride. It wasn’t that long ago when people viewed Superheros as “for geeks and nerds only”. Now you have an entire new audience supporting this genre. So stop with Marvel Vs DC because it makes absolutely no sense. We can love them both, see them both and support them both.

    • Mo says:

      Ah, another how to live, think and feel lesson on the internet. I agree it’s annoying, but It’s only natural to compare he two and there’s really nothing wrong with doing it. I would almost say one of the purposes of movies is to have a conversation involving comparing, praising, and/or criticism.

  20. Tom Luke says:

    This hack knew he was gonna tarnish Nolan’s legacy and is now covering his tracks. For months he banged on about the script not being perfect, him finishing other projects etc etc but guess what!… he still took home the pay cheques didn’t he!… he’s playing a blinder though, why have two directing failures in a row. Get someone else in to take the blame when the movie goes t@£s up and then say you did all you could to help. WB should never have bent over backwards for this guy over the last few years. He’s as boring as a wooden rolling pin.

    • Gillian H says:

      Absolute spot on!! Couldn’t have said it better. Surely Tsujihara’s time now is on the block. Remember the flash movie has gone back to full script re-write. Shareholders ain’t gonna be happy with this stuff going on

  21. loco73 says:

    Now let’s do one better and push him, Henry Cavill and Zach Snyder out of the DCU altogether…LOL

  22. Kevin Smith; he’s the only director who’s ever coaxed acting talent out of Affleck, and how long does the guy have to suffer for Daredevil?

  23. Timely Comment says:

    I hear Zack Snyder’s schedule is open.

    C’mon, WARNER BROS— give the guy his 4th DC film to helm, what with his JL 2 not happening. After MAN OF STEEL… BATMAN V SUPERMAN: Dawn of Justice… the upcoming (retooled to just lne) JUSTICE LEAGUE… Snyder could further put his stamp on the DC Films universe.

    It’s what the DCFU can continue to give to the non-M***** comicsfan!

  24. Anonyomous Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! Now, can we get him not to be in it either? Better yet, since EVERY other DC movie has been bad, sans Nolan’s “Batmans”. Can we get Warner to just cancel it all together?

    • Andrew harnett says:

      get Christian Bale back he can do it I didn’t see him as much he need to come back as batman
      I love him in batman he was good get him back in batman I want to see Christian in the movie please put Christian back in batman

      • tjchurch2001 says:

        I am fully behind replacing Ben, but with someone besides Bale (who was also BAD).

        Here’s an idea: Consider “Batman V. Superman” (2 heroes fighting each other? Bad idea from Day 1) a restart, & bring in the originator himself, “Birdman”, Micheal Keaton!

  25. This is such horrible news. Him directing was the main reason why I was looking forward to this batman move. :(

  26. 310insider says:

    Reeves would be an awesome fit, Let Me In was sheer brilliance even if 79 people saw it. Affleck needs to go away for awhile, the average moviegoer finds him dull, he’s like a block of wood to me. So damn dull.

  27. I’m sure the financial disaster of his latest directing effort had a big hand in this “mutual” decision.

  28. Rooper says:

    I wish Zack Snyder took the director’s seat. He mad the best Batman in a movie with Superman. Imagine what he can do if he focuses solely on the Bat.

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      Anyone who makes a movie where Batman is “v. Superman” is with that fact alone doing a bad job. (No matter how well they do, the job is bad, as was their choice to take it.)

      Was Bowie able to roll in his grave when it was released? “We can be heroes… Unless we’re beating each other up.”

  29. Jim says:

    WB could not be more disorganized with their DC movies.

    • dfas says:

      That’s because they’re Old School Fools.

      • Man1985 says:

        Not so much that….

        I say it’s more because they’re so unsure of themselves. They overreact so blatantly.

        First the force Snyder to shove Batman into a Man of Steel sequel. Then they force him to shove WW into it. Then they force him to shove a JL setup on top of everything.

        Then when it comes out and people hate because of the mess that THEY themselves made it into… They cling onto any other excuses.

        Apparently what was wrong with BvS was that it was “too dark” and not “fun”

        So now they go on over to Suicide Squad and completely change that movie. They reshoot all kinds of scenes and then have 3 different parties make 4 different cuts of the movie.. ultimately going with the cut made by a company that does movie TRAILERS!!!

        Not surprisingly the movie is trash and yet still they cling on to any other excuses they can find.

        APPARENTLY it’s still the “dark” to “fun” ratio that’s causing critics to not like the movies

        God somebody please save my precious DC from the idiot execs over at WB!

  30. Tim James says:

    Can’t blame him. He’d have taken tanker-loads of sh*t for things that can easily be screwed up by a dozen different executives and producers. It’s a pretty thankless job.

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      It could be screwed-up by a ton of others… Who he could have blamed when he started taking the tanker-loads he earned by screwing it up, & similarly screwing millions of fans out of $.

  31. l says:

    Not surprised at all. It was a crazy idea to direct it as well as star. No one does that, no one. I thought he was insane.

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      No more than the director who cast him in the role the first time. (Mask hides face, but bad acting is unmistakable.)

    • Man1985 says:

      “No one” ??????

      Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington, Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Billy Bob Thornton, George Clooney, Robert De Niro, Kevin Costner, Woody Allen, Kenneth Branagh…

      Just to name a few

      • Warren_Starr says:

        Let’s also remember Warren Beatty, who co-wrote, starred in, produced and/or directed several major films.

        Maybe the OP needs to do a little research…

    • Sean says:

      Ben Affleck does…- The Town, Live By Night, and Argo (Best Picture Winner). He starred and directed in all of these. But yes this movie is another level so it would be quite the challenge for sure.

  32. tjchurch2001 says:

    “Sources say this decision was solely made based on what’s best for the project and had nothing to do with the recent disappointment of Affleck’s recent directing job ‘Live by Night.'”

    Who wants to join me in waving the “BS” flag on THAT statement?! People at movie studios finally recalled he won his Oscar for WRITING, & not acting or directing!! It is only “…By Night” (sleeping alone or with the nanny), when he is dreaming, that any director other than himself would hire him to play a key role in a movie!!

    • Justin s says:

      Argo won best picture

      • Tim Church says:

        You are correct, & that is recorded & undeniable. It did win “Best Picture”. However,…

        1] The correct movies were nominated for that award that year.
        2] Even simply out of the movies that were nominated that year (correct/deserving or not), it was the Best Picture.

        Neither of those is a recorded nor true fact.

        Also, scanning other comments, I have seen some write he would’ve been ripped by fans for the job he did. I agree, but same as the Oscars he’s won for his acting (none that I recall), it would’ve been deservedly so.

      • Tom Luke says:

        That’s the problem though Justin, that year is considered by many to have had the worst oscar contending movies ever. This guy bangs on about one movie his whole life. The fact he wasn’t even nominated for best director for that film speaks loads. For crying out loud Cloiney one the same best picture for Argo, don’t see him bang on about it. Affleck is average at best.

  33. erin says:

    Hot mess! DCU ship now officially sinking…..

  34. RJM says:

    I think its pretty obvious that playing the role and directing would be a daunting task to take on. Dude might have gone crazy. he made a smart choice

  35. IT--II--IT says:

    INTEL RUN Hollywood franchise slum continues to suck up its own vomit
    – – – and SELL it BACK to us – – –

    TAKE HEED

  36. Jack S says:

    I think seeing his Razzie nomination had something to do with it.

  37. Chris says:

    David Fincher please.

    • Practical Voice in the Hollywood Wilderness says:

      Ooh, yes! Or Aronofsky. He was prepping his own Batman film pre-Batman Begins. Maybe he’s still got those storyboards hanging around.

  38. WWE Guy says:

    yeah, ’cause this totally has everything to do with Marvel!

    How about you… READ the article and not just the title? Lmao.

    “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.””

    OH YES! THE DOMINOES ARE FALLING!!1111 DC IS FINISHED!11111

    • The Truth says:

      Either way, DC is way behind… Marvel has made classic after classic lately, while DC is letting B movie directors make some of the worst decisions I’ve seen in Superhero movies yet! My guess is The Batman or JL will be fan service, catering to the folks that saw Suicide Squad 3 times in the theater. While at the same time, dragging some of our favorite Superheros through the mud. DC needs a wake up call, they need to get rid of Ayers & Snyder ASAP. I would find a new Batman too, because Buttchin was a horrible Bruce Wayne imho… Either way, as a DC/Marvel fan, I hope I am wrong!

      • stones says:

        marvel making classics? just how many delusional fanboys are there. shit villains, comedic action scenes and stupid nonsensical plots (civil war). So the movie makes you giggle like a little girl for a bit and suddenly its a classic.

      • Pathetic says:

        Wow, you really need to get a damn life.

  39. Dave C says:

    The dominoes are falling! Marvel Studios remains supreme!

  40. dgango says:

    Take that Marvel!

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