Ben Affleck Will No Longer Be Directing The Batman
Even critics of last year's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, which I am among, will say that Ben Affleck's Batman was the best part of the film. Affleck brought a new side to the Caped Crusader that we had not seen before, one that was grittier and brutal. So even with the DC Universe up in the air, fans have been holding onto hope for The Batman. With Affleck writing, directing and starring in it, it was the light at the end of the tunnel for fans. Wonder Woman, Justice League, The Flash, etc. could suck, but at least we would be getting The Batman. It was certainly the DC project I was most excited for, because you know that Affleck is going to put everything he has into this film, and work to make the best possible movie he can make. There have been hints that the studio has tried to interfere. Affleck has made it clear that he intends to direct this film, unless it goes in a direction he doesn't want to take it. He has seemed to use his position as director as collateral, leaking to the press he may not be directing as a way to fire at the studio for whatever they may be doing to interfere with his vision. But it was just a couple weeks ago that he said he was definitely directing the film. Now, that seems to no longer be the case.
Affleck made a statement saying he officially will not be directing The Batman. He said:
"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. 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."
I absolutely call bullsh*t on this! Affleck is not stepping down because he feels this is too great of a responsibility to handle. If this was his first film that he's written, directed and starred in, then maybe I'd buy it. But he's done it three times now, and one of those films won Best Picture (Argo). He can clearly do it. This screams to me that the studio wanted to go one way with the film, and Affleck wanted to go another way, so he dropped out of directing. He's still starring because he has a contractual obligation, but he does not agree with their creative direction. And this is truly disheartening to hear. It just proves to show that DC has no idea what the f*ck they are doing. There is healthy studio interference, and then there's the kind that turns a film to absolute sh*t. DC is destroying their universe because even when they have great talent like Affleck, they won't allow him to just do his thing. He is arguably one of the best filmmakers in the business. He is a huge fan of Batman. He knows what he is doing. So DC should just stay the f*ck out of his way (within reason).
However, there is a second option. I say its a very small possibility, but it's something we can't overlook. His last film, Live by Night, not only did poorly critically, but tanked at the box office. Reports are saying that the film has lost Warner Bros. around $75 million dollars. That's a lot of money. So it's possible that after that failure, they didn't want to entrust Affleck with a $200 million + blockbuster. However, this doesn't make a lot of sense, since Affleck's other three films have been critical and commercial successes. One film doesn't change that. I think the first option is what happened. I think the studio tried to mess with what Affleck was doing, and he got fed up and left as the director. Maybe he wanted to take his time, and they wanted to rush the film to get it done. But something happened. The Live by Night scenario is possible, but unlikely. It's also a possibility that what Affleck is saying is true, but I highly, highly doubt it. He's done this before. He knows what he is doing. This is really sad to hear. With Affleck behind the camera, this could've rivaled The Dark Knight. It honestly could've. And now this will turn into another "What If?" scenario in Hollywood. I'm interested to see who they bring on to direct, but unless if it's a huge name like a David Fincher or something, I've lost a lot of interest in The Batman.
What do you think? Is Ben Affleck full of sh*t? What reason do you think he's leaving for? Who should they bring on to replace him? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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