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Ben Affleck won’t be calling the shots on The Batman after all.
The actor and filmmaker has stepped down as director of Warner Bros.’ planned superhero movie, though he is still set to play the Dark Knight.
Affleck, who first donned the cape and cowl in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, said in a statement, “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.”
The statement continued, “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.”
Affleck had been linked to a solo Batman movie as director, star, and co-writer (with Geoff Johns) since summer 2015, and Warner Bros. confirmed he was working on such a project back in April. Earlier this month, however, Affleck told the Guardian that his plan to direct the film was “not a set thing” and added, “If it doesn’t come together in a way I think is really great I’m not going to do it.”
A Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement Monday that the studio “fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life.”
Affleck will next be seen as Batman in Justice League, opening Nov. 17.
Variety first reported the news.
Additional reporting by Nicole Sperling