Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ben Affleck will no longer direct 'The Batman'

And the collapse of the DC Cinematic Universe begins.....

After the critical and audience failure of both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, the future of Warner Bros. and DC's newly minted cinematic universe became uncertain. Rumors began to swirl around Wonder Woman, and two directors (Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa) bolted from the studio's The Flash. There were questions about Zack Snyder's involvement with Justice League, and fans quickly turned their attention and hopes to films like Aquaman and The Batman. And while James Wan's adaptation of the underwater superhero is still going well enough (as far as we know), the first standalone feature for Ben Affleck's version of the Caped Crusader recently headed into shaky territory. Affleck was originally set to direct the film, but there was some clear animosity after the failure of Dawn of Justice. A few weeks ago, Affleck made comments indicating that he would possibly drop his directorial duties, and yesterday, that's exactly what happened.

In an exclusive report from Variety, Ben Affleck officially announced that he will no longer direct The Batman, opting to remain only as an executive producer and star of the film. Here was Affleck's statement on the matter:

"There are certain characters who hold a special place in the heart 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 with fans around the world."

Warner Bros. added the following statement:

"Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck's decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life."

This decision means the end of the DC Cinematic Universe as we know it. Seriously, this thing is going to require a reboot by the end of the decade. Unless Justice League ends up being some kind of unexpected masterpiece, the universe is in shambles and there's no direction. The Flash is a disaster, there's a good chance that Wonder Woman falls apart on impact, and there's zero traction on Dwayne Johnson's Black Adam films, despite constant announcements from the star. Affleck previously said that he would only direct The Batman if the script is good, and with his directorial departure from the project, take that statement as you will. Variety is also reporting that Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) is on the top of the WB shortlist for The Batman, but at this point, I don't know why any quality filmmaker would want to take on this universe. It's a mess, and without Affleck's guiding hand, we're gonna have problems. My only hope is that Affleck gets out of this as soon as he can, devoting his time and energy to directorial projects that deserve his attention. The DC Cinematic Universe is a lost cause. Put a nail in the coffin.

Source: Variety
Image Credits: IMDB/Warner Bros. 

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