Jaws dropped around the comics movies-o-sphere yesterday when Variety boldly announced that Ben Affleck might direct a Justice League movie. The story made a bit of sense—although the less said about his acting career the better, Affleck is growing in stature as a director, even if a three-ring circus like a JL movie would tax anyone but D.W. Griffith or Michael Bay.
Soon after this story appeared, Deadline’s Michael Fleming came along to say this story was poppycock:
This is a story I checked out days ago, and didn’t run when Affleck’s reps stated that it was not going to happen with him. Now, it makes sense that Warner Bros would offer Affleck the project. Chris Nolan is top man over there, but after three Batfilms and after producing the Superman reboot Man of Steel, he’s gotten spandex-clad protagonists out of his system. After Nolan, the studio then offers everything else to Harry Potter director David Yates (who is now keen on Tarzan) and Affleck, who has become a major director with Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and the upcoming Argo. Just because the studio wants Affleck doesn’t mean he will do the movie, and several sources tell me he might take a meeting, but that’s it.
This led Brendan Connolly to surmise some kind of triple cross was going on:
Which is to say, Deadline are saying that Affleck’s people are saying that he’s about to waste both his and the studio’s time on a meeting about a film he certainly isn’t going to direct.
Assuming that this can be believe, I can only read it as playing hard to get by Affleck and team, if filtered through a bit of Variety-trashing by Nikki Finke and Deadline.
Which probably goes some way to convincing me Affleck might actually be wanting the gig.
You know what I think? I think WB is desperate to get back in the game as they have been pwned, served and schooled by Disney with the whole Marvel franchise. And you know what else? Beyond the next Superman they don’t really have anything solid cooking on the stove. I’m sure Ben Affleck is taking a meeting, and probably wouldn’t mind directing the most incredible lineup of superheroes on paper. But it’s more important that WB just get things moving again—or just appear to be moving again.