After months of intense scrutiny over every word regarding his involvement with The Batman, during which he repeatedly voiced a commitment to quality for the film, Ben Affleck is finally stepping aside as director on the film after all. He’s now looking for another collaborator to sit in the director’s chair for the DC Extended Universe’s first solo outing headlined by Affleck’s Caped Crusader.
While many people’s takeaway from this news is that Affleck is abandoning the project, Affleck’s official statement says something else entirely:
“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.”
It’s important to note that he’s still writing, producing, and acting in the movie. The Batman is still very much Ben Affleck’s baby. He’s never voiced a reluctance to be involved, only a desire to not rush a bad product and a concern over the workload involved, especially if the costume isn’t comfortable. Based on this new statement, he’s also going to be involved in the search for this new “partner” so that he is able to “do both jobs to the level they require,” again reaffirming his commitment to making a great Batman film.
Even though this change of plans could actually be good for the DCEU, especially when compared to Affleck handling nearly the entire project himself, there’s still, as always, some detractors that would cite this as an example of the failures of the franchise. Clay Enos, the behind the scenes photographer for the DCEU, is not one of those people. When fans began voicing their angst on Twitter, Enos stepped in to calm their nerves:
@hero_spin Creative endeavors like film are immensely complex. Directors leave projects all the time. WB isn't unique on that front. It's all okay.— Clay Enos (@ClayEnos) January 31, 2017
As Enos said, this isn’t the first time a director has left a project, especially when it comes to the DCEU, but It’s important to note the difference between this move and the departures of Seth Grahame-Smith and Rick Famuyiwa from The Flash. In those cases, the director was leaving the project entirely due to creative differences. Ben Affleck is still fully involved with The Batman. Per his statement, he just needs another collaborator to share the burden of directing.
As far as a new trailer for Justice League goes, Enos just tells fans to continue to be patient. Fans have been hounding him and others for weeks about the next trailer for the DCEU team-up movie, but all indicators suggest spring is still the target date for our next big look at Justice League.
Source: Clay Enos