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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Ben Affleck Steps Down as Director of The Next Batman Movie

The year 2016 was not the best year for DC films. Obviously there was the atrocious Suicide Squad movie, but the real tough hit was “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and it’s poor reception amongst critics. Now, I am someone who really liked “Batman vs Superman.” However, I do recognize that it had some flaws, which include bad pacing and some main plot points not being explained well.

That being said, the one take away from the film that most fans and critics have agreed on was that the performance of Ben Affleck as Batman was excellent. It is because of his acting that DC went on to announce a solo Batman movie starring Affleck, who would also write and direct the film. Fans and critics alike are excited for a film being spearheaded by the man that many believe gave us the best live action Batman of all time. However, the proverbial bubble that was the DC fans’ dream was popped last week, when it was announced that Affleck would step down as director, though he would maintain his other roles in the film.

Affleck cited that the workload of putting together the script, directing such an important film, and performing the role to the degree it deserved was too much to handle. In a statement, Affleck said “Performing this role demands focus, passion, and the very best performance I can give. It has become very clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require.”

Fans understandably lost it after this report, assailing the criticism of the films. Reports of Warner Brothers executives interfering with the director’s vision for the films came to light, and panic amongst crew members began to spread as they feared that the upcoming films were going to be “a mess.” Affleck, the one glimmer of hope many DC fans saw as what would right their franchise, would be decreasing his role in the next Batman film.  This was now the cherry on top of the terrible chain of events for DC.

Dating back to March, DC endured extremely poor critical response to “Batman vs Superman,” followed by Seth Grahame-Smith stepping down as director of “The Flash,” which was then followed by  the release of “Suicide Squad,” which got a worse critical response than “Batman vs Superman.” Later in the year, a woman that worked on the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie released a letter stating that the film already looked like it was going to be a mess. This was followed by the second “The Flash” director Rick Famuyiwa stepping down as director, citing the same “creative differences” that Grahame-Smith did.

Now in 2017, reports start coming out that “Wonder Woman” is going to be a bad movie, and the same could be said about “Justice League.” Then we have the most recent story: that yet another director, Ben Affleck, would be stepping down.

As a huge DC fan, the months following “Batman vs Superman” have been very troubling to say the least. I want to see this film franchise succeed so that my favorite characters get the same opportunity to shine that Marvel’s fantastic characters have.

The positive point to take out of this is that Affleck did not say that any kind of creative differences lead to him stepping out of the director’s chair. Let’s be honest, it is a lot to handle the role of  director, writer, and lead actor for one of the most anticipated films of one of the next five years while also dealing with a hoard of rabid comic book fans breathing down your neck for updates. For the sake of forming your own opinion, I say we should let this play out, don’t listen to anybody who said the film stinks without seeing the finished product, and let’s hope for the best DC fans.
Bottom line is that some of our favorite characters are going to come to life in “Justice League” at the end of this year, and Ben Affleck is still playing Batman. There are still things to be excited about, I promise!