Ben Affleck has announced that he will not be directing The Batman after all.
Affleck remains on board to play the caped crusader in a standalone movie, but he and Warner Bros. are now seeing a new director.
“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.”
He added: “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 first played the caped crusader in Warner Bros’ Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice film and reprised the role briefly in Suicide Squad. He has been linked to a standalone Batman film since last year, but earlier this month he cast doubts on the project by saying it wasn’t “a set thing”.
There is no official release date for The Batman as yet, but its original target release date of 2018 is looking increasingly unlikely.
Affleck has said in the past tha tBatman’s nemesis in the film will be the DC Comics character Deathstroke. Deathstroke, an assassin with superhuman strength, speed and agility, first appeared in comic book form in 1980 but did not cross paths with Batman until a 1991 comic.
True Blood‘s Joe Manganiello was cast as Deathstroke last September.