Ben Affleck is no longer directing the Batman standalone movie for Warner Bros.
In a statement, Ben said it “has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require” and that he and the studio are looking for a new director.
“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions,” Ben said in the statement. “Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give.”
Ben made his debut as the superhero for the studio last summer in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he had been attached to write and direct the Batman standalone movie for about a year.
He attended Comic-Con this summer with his fellow DC Universe directors, like Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins, Justice League’s Zack Snyder, and Rick Famuyiwa, who this past autumn also stepped away from directing The Flash.
The studio in a statement said that it “fully supports” his decision and “remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life”.
Warner Bros and Ben have had a long-standing relationship. This past autumn alone, Ben made a cameo as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Suicide Squad, starred in The Accountant, and wrote, directed and starred in the period drama Live By Night.
Speaking to The Associated Press in December, Ben said he was taking his time with the script for Batman, which he called an “exhilarating” challenge, “like jumping out of an airplane”.
Warner Bros has had a rocky start kicking off its expanded universe of DC Comics films. Both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad were savaged by critics, but they still managed to be decently profitable.