Ben Affleck has decided to step down as the director of his upcoming solo Batman movie, although he will remain on the project as the leading star and producer.

The Hollywood star revealed the news in a statement, saying that playing the superhero and helming the project was too much of an ask.

In a statement first reported by Variety, Affleck 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.

"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."

Affleck stepping down as Batman director

Warner Bros. added in a statement: "[The studio] fully supports Ben Affleck's decision and remains committed to working with him to bring a standalone Batman picture to life."

Affleck made his highly-anticipated debut as the Caped Crusader in 2016's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside British actor Henry Cavill.

We will next see his gravelly-voiced Batman in November's Justice League, with the solo The Batman movie scheduled after that.

Affleck, who co-wrote the script with Geoff Johns, will now look for a replacement director with Warner Bros.

Affleck and co-star Sienna Miller  talk to RTÉ Entertainment about their latest movie, Live By Night