BREAKING: Ben Affleck won’t direct Batman, a development that has been in the wind for weeks. He has been wavering and finally decided not to go forward as director, remaining as star. The studio is eyeing a shortlist of shooters that includes Captain Fantastic helmer Matt Ross but the first conversation will be with Matt Reeves, who just helmed the latest Planet of the Apes installment.

Affleck, who most recently helmed Live by Night, wrote the script with Geoff Johns, and a rewrite was just turned in by Chris Terrio, the Oscar-winning scribe of the Affleck-directed Argo. Our sister publication Variety was first to confirm Affleck’s exit as director.

While Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan turned out iconic Batman series, it is a much tougher situation having to not only direct but also star in these films. That prospect finally prompted Affleck to reconsider double duty. He’s still firmly committed to starring and now can focus on the Batman role that he first played in Batman v Superman and briefly in Suicide Squad. He reprises in the upcoming Justice League. 

Said Affleck: “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.”