Talkback: Who Wants Ben Affleck To Direct Justice League?

Ben Affleck Justice League

Ben Affleck's come a long way since his 1998 Oscar co-win for Good Will Hunting, arguably the first time Hollywood stood up and took notice of the multi-hyphenate as more than just an actor; according to Variety, he's now being sought after to direct WB's Justice League, DC's answer to Marvel's billion-dollar rival franchise starter The Avengers. But even after the successes of modest-scale thrillers Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and with his buzzed-about forthcoming picture Argo poised for awards season, is the writer/producer/actor/director the right filmmaker to helm the superhero studio tentpole?

Sources tell Variety that Affleck has been given the Justice League script as WB approaches him to direct, speculating further that he could additionally star in the pic. But take it all with a healthy grain of salt: Insiders tell Movieline that the report, while plausible, "is ridiculously vague and early."

That's pretty much what the report sounds like, coming conspicuously just a day after Disney's Bob Iger spilled the news that Joss Whedon will be coming back to helm Avengers 2. So somebody out there wants to gauge public opinion, generate a little Justice League buzz, stir the pot. Given the mixed reaction rippling through the blogosphere today, consider that pot stirred.

The question is, would Affleck make a good choice for the Justice League movie? Notwithstanding the possibility that he'd star while simultaneously helming an epic megamillion-dollar production with billions of box office, a multi-film franchise, and the fiscal fate of the studio on the line — really, would he? Would anyone? — maybe he'd only take one job at a time in this case. Just maybe. What Gone Baby Gone did to put Affleck on the map as a bona fide seriouspants filmmaker to be taken seriously — if emphasized moreso because nobody really expected it of the guy who starred in GigliThe Town amplified with its gritty genre leanings. Argo looks to be his most ambitious directing project to date, advancing from tidy Boston-set thriller to multinational historical-political drama. Project by project, Affleck is fine-tuning his sensibilities, widening his reach and skillset with each progressive (and well-chosen) film.

Based on his two features to date, Affleck's a decent but promising director, adept at balancing ensembles and gritty material and great with his actors. The critical and commercial success of The Town most recently demonstrates what any studio with most superhero movies in the post-Batman Begins age is aiming for — the ability to deliver complex, acclaim-worthy material while satisfying audiences.

Variety's report adds more ambiguity to the mix by noting that Affleck is also considering an offer to topline Greg Berlanti's Replay at Warners, a Groundhog Day-esque sci-fi drama about a man who dies only to wake up, able to live out different potential life paths over and over. Back in 2010 Affleck was reported to be mulling the project, based on Ken Grimwood’s 1987 novel, only then — on the heels of The Town — he was looking to direct. I see Affleck more likely to continue along this route, building a directing resume out of smaller, character-driven dramas for grownups.

Then again, he's already brought Superman to the big screen once before, donning the spandex for Hollywoodland. Should he do it again?

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  • Andrew says:

    I haven't read the script, so I can't say...

    But he's never done big scale action.

    So no. Not a good choice.

    • CrimsonAvenger says:

      Joss Whedon had never done anything like The Avengers before and that came out pretty well.

  • Keren says:

    What character would he play in Justice League? Assuming that they keep Henry Cavill as Superman and probably lose Bale as Batman, they would be casting the show around Cavill. I just don't see what role Affleck would play, but I love being wrong about these things and being impressed by actors.

  • Tocus says:

    He's a good director, but not for a film like this. He's never done a big film like this, and this film should'nt be his lesson on how to make one. Steven Soderbergh would do a great job, and Paul Haggis should write a script for it.

  • The question is, would Affleck make a good choice for the Justice League movie?

  • Mr Unlucky says:

    Christopher Nolan had never done "big scale action" before the first Batman.

    Ben Affleck actually has more going for him than a lot of directors, the heist scenes in The Town, and the multi-character dynamics of Gone Baby Gone/Argo look to suit this kind of film quite well.

    I think it's a very interesting choice, and could definitely pay off for Warner Bros.
    Or it could suck balls without Affleck having anything to do with it. This is show-business.

  • Sherlock Mandango says:

    Here's what it'll look like if Affleck gets the job:

  • balamir says:

    i think affleck will do great! The town was amazing and that flop of a daredevil movie wasn't really his fault and i feel that he could bring us a more realistic JLA just as nolan did with batman

  • Kevin Smith never got to do Scooby-Doo so he should be optioned to script SuperFriends. Then Ben can direct THAT movie. Face it, if Avengers is cornering the market on the realism end then whose got that OTHER end covered?! And with SuperFriends the CN can't talk. They've done commercials where Solomon Grundy wants pants and the Wonder Twins got slapped by an old lady after not saving their kid. Anything less than that would be *platinum* from View Askew. Especially? Considering that this last decade got completely RAPED of more good stuff post-Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with all these wars happening. Then AGAIN post-Clerks 2 with this economic downturn. Someone needs to head-butt frustrated people looking for something "serious" when they've only been cultivating ...Mannequin Skywalker and Michael Bay's Trashformers. o.O =)) \m/ @Silent Bob.

  • There are some fascinating closing dates in this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There may be some validity however I will take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we wish more! Added to FeedBurner as nicely