Just a few days ago, Variety reported that Ben Affleck would be stepping out of the directors chair for the Batman solo film. Simply titled The Batman, Affleck seemed to be a lock to direct this film. However, Affleck had gave an honest and somewhat questionable response as to why he’s not going to be the 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. 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.”
This seemed to come at a very inopportune time as Affleck’s latest gangster film Live By Night received underwhelming reviews and hasn’t fared well at the box office. We also obtained some more news regarding The Flashes’s solo film and how Warner Bros. has constantly gone through multiple directors and scripts to get this movie going. To add more fuel to the fire, DC’s latest films Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad also received major backlash with fans and critics. But, I still believe we have hope for the future.
Though Affleck has stepped down as director, now is not the time to hit the panic button (yet). That being said, let’s take a look at a few reasons why Affleck stepping down as director could be a good thing for the film.
Affleck Should Focus on His Performance
Affleck states that this performance to play Batman demands “focus, passion, and the best performance I can give.” Affleck no doubt understands what it takes to perform at this level considering he’ll have played the Caped Crusader at least twice (three times if you include his cameo in Suicide Squad) before his role in his solo movie. It’s been heavily documented, that Batman will have a major role to play in the upcoming Justice League film. Batman along with Wonder Woman will help recruit the rest of the team go be prepared for Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds) and his forces.
Affleck is well aware of the physically demanding role it takes to play Batman. If he were also behind the directors chair, he would most likely be doing this while wearing the Batsuit. This would be extremely challenging even for someone of his caliber to act out all of the action sequences and then review the footage behind the scenes.
Why The Flash Rewrites Can Be A Positive Sign For The DCEU
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the future of some of these DC projects. It’s hard to say right now if DC has established a plan moving forward. With announcements regarding a Harley Quinn spin-off and most recently a Black Adam featured film that will be split into two-parts, DC appears to be lost in the story they want to tell. A good example of this is the Flash spin-off film that will feature Ezra Miller in the lead role.
This movie has lost multiple directors and has since been through a page one rewrite numerous times. News like this never appears to be a good thing, but for DC it just might be. I would much rather the studios take their time on the script while finding a fantastic director that could helm a film with one of the most popular DC characters. Warner Bros. first needs to make sure that both Wonder Woman and Justice League delivers before they can start developing other films right away.
With a March 2018 release date and no director on the project, it’s safe to say that The Flash’s release date will be pushed back and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Get the film right the first time by writing a story that fits in with this universe and finding a capable director to take hold of DC’s fastest superhero.
It’s not as though Affleck isn’t aware of this. He’s already directed and starred in three of his movies including The Town, Argo, and his latest film Live By Night. Directors do more than you may be led to believe. Not only do they have to make sure that the script has been completed and the actors are set but they also have to accomplish tasks such as approving production sets, costumes, choreography, as well as the soundtrack to the film. Directors also work with the cinematographers on their shot compositions along with any of the editing that’s involved with establishing the final product. And, they also have to constantly give the other actors a sense of direction while playing and starring in his own role as Batman.
When you take a step back and understand what it takes to actually direct a film, it’s no wonder why Affleck may have wanted to step aside from directing duties. Sure he’s already had some seasoning having directed and starred in three of his movies, but it’s an entirely different animal to direct and star in a big budget blockbuster film. Knowing that Affleck has to meet so many deadlines and do many things behind the camera, I’d say he’s better off taking a step back to allow another director to come in and helm the film.
Affleck Should Be The ‘Kevin Feige’ of The DCEU
Let’s not forget, Affleck will still be heavily involved in making The Batman. He’s obviously playing Bruce Wayne/Batman but will also be producing and co-writing the script with Geoff Johns. We’ve also just learned that academy award winning screenwriter Chris Terrio will also be assisting with the script.
As long as Ben Affleck is willing to work together with Warner Bros., they should be in good hands. This studio needs a man of Affleck’s talents to help ride the ship to a successful franchise. Marvel has Kevin Feige and has been there since day one. Though this man has grasped a hold of this cinematic universe, Feige still allows his directors to make their own film. On the other hand, the news is being bombarded with multiple script rewrites, the studios meddling with the director’s work, and random announcements of films that don’t seem to mesh with their current universe (Gotham City Sirens anyone?).
Warner Bros. must refrain from tweaking someone else’s work. Having too many cooks in the kitchen is never a good sign. If they have a director they trust, then they need to let them make the movie they want to make. They’ve already come to an agreement, so allow them the honor of making a great film. Nothing comes as better examples than the choppy editing of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the news that David Ayers’s Suicide Squad was a completely different film. If Affleck can be a producer on most of these DC films, then this could definitely help ensure a sense of stability for the DCEU. No one is more than capable of being that Kevin Feige like figure than Ben Affleck.
Fans are eagerly anticipating the release of Wonder Woman along with Justice League slated to release later this year. DC has a lot on their plate right now. If these two films can deliver, then this will surely ease some of the pain that Warner Bros. has been going through lately. After all, all it takes is one great film to get them back on track.
But what do you think about Affleck stepping down as director? Do you still remain hopeful for the DCEU? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!