Superhero movie fans breathed a collective, albeit tiny, sigh of relief last night when Ben Affleck confirmed he’ll direct the forthcoming standalone Batman film The Batman, which is tentatively expected to release next year.
The actor appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last night to promote the new film, which he also directed and stars in, Live by Night. He told Kimmel:
I’m going to direct the next Batman. We’re working on it. It’s one of those things that’s really frustrating because like Live by Night took me a year and a half to write it and get it ready. And I worked really hard. It’s just nobody gave a shit! Nobody was like, “Where’s Live by Night?”
Affleck continued, “But with Batman I keep on getting, ‘Where’s the fucking Batman?!’ And I’m like, ‘Whoa, I’m working! Give me a second!’”
This all followed a surprising comment offered by Affleck to The Guardian last week, when he described his position as the film’s director as “not a set thing.” He said that if the script “doesn’t come together” in a satisfying way, he may reconsider helming the project. Soon after, an unconfirmed report from fan site Batman-On-Film claimed the movie may have been delayed out of 2018 altogether, bolstering the rumors.
Alongside Affleck, Jeremy Irons (The Lion King, Die Hard With a Vengeance, Assassin’s Creed) returns as trusty butler Alfred, while Joe Manganiello (Magic Mike, True Blood) joins the fold as villain Deathstroke. Watch Affleck’s interview with Kimmel below.