Ben Affleck steps down as director of 'The Batman'

By Wade Sheridan  |  Jan. 31, 2017 at 7:37 AM
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Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Ben Affleck and Warner. Bros. has announced that the actor will no longer be handling The Batman from behind the camera.

"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," Affleck said in a statement confirming that he will still appear as The Dark Knight.

"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," he continued.

"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 added.

According to Variety, citing sources, a shortlist exists of potential filmmakers to helm the project including War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves.

Affleck was first linked to star in and direct The Batman in April following the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The 44-year-old has written the script for the film alongside famed comic book writer and DC Entertainment head Geoff Johns.

Joe Manganiello has already been cast as the formidable assassin Deathstroke and news has come out that iconic whip-wielding burglar Catwoman will not be making an appearance.

"It's going to be gritty and action-packed and cerebral and all of those elements that people love about Batman," Manganiello said previously of the project.

During a recent interview with The Guardian, Affleck explained that his plan to direct The Batman was "not a set thing" adding "If it doesn't come together in a way I think is really great I'm not going to do it."

Affleck will next been seen as Batman in Justice League due in theaters Nov. 17.

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