Earlier this month, we learned that Ben Affleck would step down as director of The Batman, after months of making wishy washy comments about whether or not he would direct the project. The crux of Affleck’s argument seemed to be that he would direct the project only if the script (which Affleck himself was writing) was good enough.
Ben Affleck will not direct The Batman, ergo, the script must not be good enough.
It seems that logic is sound, as Affleck and Geoff “Jeff” Johns‘ original script has already been rewritten once by Chris Terrio, and now, according to a new report from Forbes‘ Mark Hughes, better known to the world as the guy that argues with Mark Waid about whether or not Superman should kill, the script will “essentially get a fresh start” when a new director is brought onto the film, meaning another full rewrite is likely. As previously reported by Bleeding Cool, fans are actively campaigning to prevent that new director from being Zack Snyder.
For Affleck, it’s looking more and more like he is desperately trying to escape the DC Cinematic Universe. Affleck saw his career tank once before after starring in the widely panned Daredevil seventeen years ago. It was a long climb back up to the top as a critical darling for his success in Gone Baby Gone, Argo, and Gone Girl, and taking a prominent role in another widely panned superhero movie franchise may have been a terrible mistake. Affleck’s Oscar-bait flick Live By Night, released late last year, reportedly lost $75 million for Warner Bros and was a flop with critics, with a 35% score on Rotten Tomatoes. If Justice League fails to live up to the potential of the intellectual property it’s based on, just as Batman v. Superman did, Affleck could find himself back where he was in 2003, filming another Gigli.
And so, The Batman, which was once to be written, directed by, and starring Ben Affleck, and later was at least written by and starring Ben Affleck, is now just starring Ben Affleck. That is, until he drops out of that role as well.