You read the headline right: Warner Bros. is reportedly eying Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) to helm Justice League, DC and WB’s answer to Marvel/Disney’s The Avengers. Affleck is expected to enter discussion with the studio higher-ups within the next few days. So far, he’s the only candidate who has received the script from Gangster Squad scribe, Will Beall. Affleck has also set a recent precedent of directing films he also stars in, which may mean that we’ll be seeing him on screen in some capacity, whether super-suited or not. Hit the jump for much more on this developing story, along with a possible role for Affleck in an upcoming film which has long been in development at Warner Bros. [Update: We've added more information regarding Affleck's likely decision]
Variety reports that Affleck is the main man for WB’s Justice League, now that Christopher Nolan is officially out as director. The superhero team up will feature Batman and Superman, alongside Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and the Flash. If Nolan’s Batman trilogy is any indication, bolstered by the apparent tone and palette of Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, we can look forward to Justice League likely continuing the “realistic and gritty” aesthetic. Affleck’s latest directorial effort will be on display this fall with the political thriller, Argo.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Affleck wasn’t taken seriously as an actor, let alone a writer or a director. That was before the critical and commercial success of Gone Baby Gone and The Town. Back in the fall of 2010, we reported that Affleck was once in contention for the director’s chair for what was to become Man of Steel. If Affleck decides to take on this property, it will likely take him out of contention for other films, at least in a directorial capacity. Justice League is looking to butt heads with newly-appointed director Joss Whedon’s The Avengers 2 some time in 2015.
However, Affleck could still have room in his schedule for some acting roles. One in particular popped up in this same report. Affleck is contemplating a role in Greg Berlanti’s sci-fi drama, Replay, in which a man dies and is able to relive his life again and again, changing partners and professions each time. The film is based on the 1987 best-selling novel by Ken Grimwood. Whether Affleck decides to star in Replay or not, what do you think of him possibly directing (and starring?) in Justice League? Can you see him as any of the costumed characters or more of a supporting role? Let us know in the comments below!
[Update: Deadline "reports" that they didn't bother with this news because while they had the story "days" before Variety, Affleck's reps said it wasn't going to happen. This isn't so much of a report as much as Deadline trying to play it off like they didn't care when they know they got scooped on a story they should have covered, especially since they've never shied away from "taking a meeting"-stories in the past.
But Deadline is right when they say Affleck's probably not going to take the gig. Warner Bros. desperately wants him to take on a big franchise (in 2010 they had him on their wish list for Man of Steel), but he clearly isn't interested. Personally, I'm glad that Affleck is sticking to the films he wants to make even though he has the opportunity to make a blockbuster. He's already delivered two superb movies with Gone Baby Gone and The Town, and his upcoming film, Argo, looks terrific. Affleck has never showed any interest in taking on a big franchise, and he seems content to keep making adult dramas, which is fine by me.--Matt]