Ben Affleck, who played Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, has stepped down as director of The Batman, a solo film focused on the Dark Knight in the DC Extended Universe. Affleck will still play the lead role and will stay on as producer. He also co-wrote the script with comic writer and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.
In a public statement, Affleck said that “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…I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”
Apparently, it has no connection to the recent box office bomb Live by Night, which was directed by Affleck. The Batman is scheduled to release in 2018.
Meanwhile, the script for The Flash movie is being completely rewritten. As reported by Krypton Radio, the first solo film about the Scarlet Speedster was originally based on a story treatment by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie). Warner Brothers wanted them to direct, but they were too busy and nominated Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) to write the script and direct. Due to creative differences, Grahame-Smith dropped out of the project in April 2016.
Three months later in June 2016, director Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) was hired to direct. Due to creative differences, Famuyiwa dropped out of the project four months later in October 2016. Since then, no director has been announced, but screenwriter Joby Harold has been hired to completely rewrite the script.
The Flash, was supposed to film in January 2017 and release in theaters March 16, 2018. It will star Ezra Miller (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) as the Flash / Barry Allen. He will appear alongside Affleck as Batman in Justice League, which releases in theaters November 17, 2017.