Actor Ben Affleck has revealed he’d no longer be directing the much-anticipated stand-alone Batman movie.

Affleck will however remain as star and producer of the movie, which is expected to be released in 2018.

There had been rumors that Affleck had been considering stepping down, and he finally released  a statement to that effect.

Affleck had first played the caped crusader in last year’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justiceand revealed in his statement that he could not star and direct at the same time.

He said: “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.”

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He added: “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.”

Warner Bros., who are producing the movie, also released a statement supporting Affleck and his decision.

“Warner Bros. fully supports Ben Affleck’s decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life,” the statement said.

According to VarietyWar For The Planet Of The Apes director Matt Reeves is one of the potential replacements to helm the movie.

Affleck’s next appearance as Batman will be in Justice League, which hits cinemas in November.