Ben Affleck has announced he is stepping down from directorial duties for the standalone Batman movie.

Originally set to star, produce and direct, Affleck has released a statement saying that while he will still produce ‘The Batman’ and play the caped crusader, he just couldn’t handle taking on directing the film too.

“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.”

According to a report in Variety, Affleck’s decision was down to what was best for the project and had nothing to do with the fact that his last directorial effort, the historical crime movie Live By Night, didn’t exactly set global box offices alight. (As a side note if you’ve not seen it, check it out because it’s really rather good).

There’s no word yet on who will replace Affleck, although it’s more than likely he’ll have a say in the matter.

To be honest, we’re a little disappointed that Affleck won’t be sitting in the director’s chair for this one. While some of movies he’s starred in haven’t been great, he’s got a pretty solid track record as a director (see: Gone Baby Gone, see also: The Town and Argo).

That having been said, at least he’s still on to play Batman. Anyone who sat through last year’s Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice will remember that he was arguably the best thing in it. Well, him and that awesome chase involving the Batmobile.

[Source: Variety]