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.


  1. Not too hot on Affleck as an actor or director. As a director, I’ve only seen “Gone Baby Gone,” which, while competently directed, ended on such as down note it made me despise the entire film. Affleck’s appearences on talk shows and the old “Politically Incorrect” mark him as one of the dumbest people in Hollywood.

    I think it will take a person much smarter and more creative to make a superhero movie that will appeal to the masses and the die-hards, like Avengers.

    I can see Affleck doing Ghost Rider 3, which seems more appropriate for someone of his talent.

  2. I’m more interested in who’s writing it and what characters they’ll use.

    Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are givens.
    Flash most likely.
    Will they use Green Lantern after his own movie bombed? Would he be John Stewart?
    Will they use Martian Manhunter when any movie having anything to do with Mars bombs? (though the recent excitement of landing a new rover on Mars may help.)

    At most they can probably have focus on about 6 heroes, and anyone else beyond that would just have to be background.

  3. WAIT A MINUTE.. do you mean to say the “press” actually ran a report about a movie that might get made – or otherwise reported about somebody who is about to make/ star (whatever) in a certain movie — as if it is surely about to happen, when IN FACT the odds off that particular thing actually happening hang on the whims of a thousand people, making a thousand decisions that have yet to be made.

    NAAAHHH — the “press” would never do stuff like that.

  4. Doing a movie about a DC superhero isn’t nearly as simple as putting a comic book story up on the big screen, or they could just adapt a classic comics storyline.

    Do you treat the DC heroes as people or as icons? Movies about icons teach people about morality, good behavior, etc. Movies about people entertain. Superman, Wonder Woman, et al. are much better known among the general public as the icons on Super Friends, T-shirts, pajamas, and other things than they are as flawed heroes in stories. Viewers will come into the movies about the DC heroes with expectations. Spider-Man or Wolverine could crack a risque joke; Superman or Wonder Woman couldn’t.

    A screenwriter might be able to strike a perfect balance between ICON and person in a story, but it isn’t easy, and overt references to heroism can easily turn sour. While Marvel heroes are easier to handle, because they can have sharper edges, in AvX #9, the exaggerated treatment of Spider-Man’s “heroism” made me feel a bit ill. You would think Marvel wanted grateful readers to cry because Spider-Man was so brave and self-sacrificing.

    Suppose that you have a bunch of the DC heroes in a meeting room, or, if you want to test yourself, in a lounge, waiting for drinks. What do they talk about, besides past battles, while they’re waiting for the drinks to come? I wouldn’t want to try to write that sequence.


  5. If you’re not going to go the Marvel route of establishing each character in their own movie, I’d take a tip (or a whole plotline) from Grant Morrison’s run on “JLA” and make the movie more about plot, spectacle and excitement. Kind of the “Mission Impossible” of superhero movies.

    I’m just glad George Miller’s “JLA” movie never got off the ground. They were planning on using OMAC as the villain, and who wants to see a Terminator rerun using the Justice League?

  6. Its a good step in the right direction that WB is looking for more high-end art house directors to work on their IPs and to leave them be, but Affleck seems to be more interested in doing his own projects in the sense that he is more into personal and dramatic story-telling than making spectacle films. he spent his career acting in studio films i doubt he wants to make them.

  7. As much as I wold love to see this movie burn, much like the ridiculous GL flick; The only way this can work is if they do what Marvel did and establish separate franchises first. Without character set up with individual movies, character development will not exist or will end up being half-assed and hurried. (see Watchmen movie as a reference for hurried character development destroying a fucking fim) If you put these characters right into high action film with no character development you will have Transformers. The only problem will be (assuming you could tolerate that Bay piece of shit, from the box office alone I am sure WB does) is that you will have adults in a rainbow costumed nightmare. The only reason the stupid costumes work is because you KNOW the character. Think about the Avengers’ Captain America costume it looked stupid in the screen shots right? Imagine if you didn’t have the CA movie to set it up, it would have been a challenge for Whedon to really make that work. They have to suck it up and build the franchises, have to.

  8. What´s the deal with the fuzz on Afleck as director? By no means is a hack, but frankly it´s not that gread either.

    Might as well WB would still offer everything to Clint Eastwood…oldie but goodie!

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