Warner Bros. Pictures finally answered the question of who would direct The Batman after the departure of Ben Affleck from the director's chair last month today, with a very dry press release naming Matt Reeves to the job. Reeves was rumored as in talks for the job, then reportedly dropped out, and now he's been officially announced.
That's just the latest rollercoaster of emotions for DC Films fans eagerly awaiting The Batman, of course, after Ben Affleck pulled out of directing. Reports also hit that the screenplay Affleck co-wrote with DC Films co-head and DC Entertainment CCO and President Geoff Johns needed extensive work, and rumors dropped that Affleck may even want to get out of his contract and stop playing Batman altogether. That rumor hit in spite of his initial statement about leaving the director's chair specifically to focus on the performance aspect and give his all to his acting job.
Of course, now we get a press release about Reeves' directing job, and Affleck isn't mentioned at all: no quote about the addition, not as the star, as the writer, nothing. That may lead some fans to worry that the rumors are true.
We can confirm via Warner Brothers that Ben Affleck is still attached to star in the film - so don't worry.
The most probable scenario here is the simplest - Occam's Razor - the release focused on Reeves exclusively because that's the actual news here. As noted, it's a very dry release; it actually doesn't mention anyone else involved with the project, aside from WB President and Chief Content Officer Toby Emmerich, who calls the movie "the crown jewel of our DC slate." Reeves is quoted as well about his love for the character, and Batman's creators get a nod. That's it.
While coming into the role of Batman and taking on a triple-threat of creativity on it seemed like a boon for Ben Affleck, it wound up not being the right project to have that many hands into for him. That's a perfectly normal creative decision that's only under such a microscope because of the project and tha particular man. His original contract has not been officially disclosed, but was likely for three movies (with an option for more, like a Justice League sequel and a trilogy of solo films), and there's no real evidence to believe he won't fulfil his contract, dry press releases and all.
The Batman is currently in pre-production and no release date has been set. Ben Affleck will next appear as Batman in Justice League later this year.