Ben Affleck in Talks to Direct ‘Justice League’

3 years ago by  

Yesterday Disney and Marvel Studios happily announced that Joss Whedon, the man behind The Avengers, will be back to not only write and direct its sequel, but will be overseeing Phase Two of the Marvel cinematic universe (which will also include a live-action TV series) for the next three years.

The big headline-stealing, buzz-generating announcements keep coming from Marvel Studios, but for Warner Bros., it’s been a challenging path to begin organizing live-action feature films for their DC Comics lineup into something that can compete at the same game. They’re taking steps in the right direction to make that happen and their answer to Joss Whedon’s signing may to bring in Ben Affleck to helm Justice League.

Now that Christopher Nolan has completed The Dark Knight trilogy (and is not interested in Justice League) and director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is set to launch DC’s response to Marvel’s franchise, we’re about to see what fans have patiently been waiting for: a shared universe where Batman, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman can share a world with The Flash and Superman.

Justice League Alex Ross Art 570x249 Ben Affleck in Talks to Direct Justice League

Variety has the scoop from several inside sources which inform them that Affleck is the only directorial candidate to have been sent Will Beall’s Justice League screenplay and that he will be chatting with Warner Bros. over the next few days. Affleck, having only begun his major feature film directing career with 2007′s Gone Baby Gone also wrote and directed the Oscar-nominated The Town (2010) for Warner Bros., along with the upcoming Argo which he also helmed.

Even with only a few features under his belt, Affleck has proven he can handle ensemble casts in action and drama, and his working relationship with Warner Bros. almost had him taking on Man of Steel previously. He may still get his chance to work with Superman and more interestingly, Affleck could be in front of the camera in this one as well since he’s starred in the last two features he directed.

Ben Affleck directing Justice League Ben Affleck in Talks to Direct Justice League

Ben Affleck in ‘Argo’

Have we found our new Bruce Wayne in the man who once played Daredevil? Funny enough, Affleck was rumored for the part 13 years ago.

From the Man of Steel panel at Comic-Con 2012, Zack Snyder finally dropped his guard about keeping his Superman story separate, much like Nolan’s Batman, and he hinted that once they get “[Superman's] house in order,” they will see where Henry Cavill’s Clark Kent could appear next. With Green Lantern failing to earn critical acclaim, will Ryan Reynolds return as Hal Jordan for the team-up alongside Cavill?

More importantly, when is Justice League planned for release and who will play Batman if it isn’t Christian Bale? Will The Flash and Wonder Woman - both of which have scripts in development – get their introductions through solo movies before Justice League or will Warner Bros. rush Justice League first and use it as a launching pad for each hero’s individual film?

There are so many questions but expect more news soon.

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Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Variety

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  1. great opp for ben affleck. because dc is what it is just like marvel. FANTASY. if i want to see turkish terrorists led by darth bane i can always go back to rises.

    • NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A thousand times NO, don’t want him as a director and certainly NOT as Batman/Bruce Wayne, terrible idea

      • I’m not sure about him acting in it…but as far as directing, have you seen his films? Both Gone Baby Gone and The Town are fantastic films, showing that Ben Affleck is a strong directing and shows a lot of promise. Giving him something like this may be a risk, but giving Christopher Nolan Batman was a risk as well, and look what he did with it.

  2. The comment about Affleck being Batman, put a bad taste in my mouth with this whole article honestly, i mean Affleck as the director of the Justice League????? We need some BIG GUNS someone with serious pazzazzzzz guys….Marvel is pummeling the market and if there is going to be another Bat it sure as all get out better NOT be Affleck. As far as him directing id like to hear his thoughts but dont expect much.

    • Have you ever seen The Town? It was just as good of a movie as The Dark Knight. In fact it felt very similar in certain aspects.

    • Not sure how Ben Affleck doesn’t qualify. I have a feeling you haven’t seen The Town.

  3. Hmm not sure bout him directing jl..

  4. hes mostly comedy so i think this is a bad move if it happens

    • Do you mean as an actor or a director?

      • hes mostly a comedy actor bruh

  5. Affleck would be a great Barry Allen.

    Heard it here first.

    • I agree I don’t really see him being other than the Flash but then again he’s already been a red superhero with pointy things on the side of his head…

      • *nods*

    • kofi, that is a damn fine idea, sir. It would be a too big of a step to have him step into big established franchise role, but Barry Allen’s over confident stride would be perfect fit for Affleck’s “modest” delivery style… a possible chance to hear a response to Whedon’s Reindeer Games jab would also be tasty.

  6. I frankly think Affleck should ask Bale to return as Batman given that he’s the only cast member who’s proven to have box office clout. Yeah , Nolan fans would moan …but who cares, the general public would welcome it. If so , then you’d already have, in theory, Cavill as Superman, Bale as Batman, and Reynolds as Green Lanturn. All you’d need is WW and Flash.

  7. Just to sum up everyone’s opinions, as long as he doesn’t star as the new Bruce Wayne, we won’t care. I absolutely loved the Town and I can’t say he’s an average director. I know his movies are COMPLETELY different type of movies, and this is risky, but I’d like to see his approach into the DC universe. It’d be interesting

    • The Town is a lot like Dark Knight in the bank heist scenes

  8. I want to see a Justice League movie, but they should do a flash and wonder woman solo, and a Green Latern Reboot.
    Ask Christian Bale if he would be interested in the JL movie and go from there.
    I can see Ben as Flash or Green Latern if can pull off their personalities.

  9. interesting. ‘the town’ was pretty good but that was a heist movie. hard to see how his talents would transfer to a big blockbuster flick like ‘the justice league’. i’d be interested in hearing how he approaches it. also, i could see him playing the flash perhaps….not sure if he’s a batman type

  10. Affleck is a legit top 10 director in this business. Gone Baby Gone is one of the best movies of the past 10 years and the town was grade A crime film. On top of that Argo looks outstanding. If I was Warner Bro’s I would’ve got David S Goyer to write at least the story, but Will Beadle has done a brilliant job with and from what I hear Gangster Squad had a great script. What this comes to is the script, casting, and special effects crew assigned to this film. If any of those things are off this movie is screwed. I hope to see basically a balance of Chris Nolans dark grounded filmmaking, mixed with the old Richard Donner superman tone. The cast if I had a chance to pick them would be; Cavill as Superman, Joaquin Pheonix as batman, even though he would have to bulk up for the role, I have no problem with Reynolds as green lantern, Jennifer Lawrence as Wonder woman, Chris Pine as the Flash, and who knows about Aquaman.

    • “Joaquin Pheonix as batman” … what the fudge cake?

    • Joaquin Phoenix as BATMAN that gave me a smile

  11. Watch gone baby gone or the town and you will see that Affleck is more than capable of handling drama, action, and ensemble necessary for a movie like this. The only question is, does he know the characters well enough to make it all come together? 1 superhero in a movie isn’t as hard as trying to mix a whole universe into the same movie. As far as ability goes, he’s got it in my opinion.

  12. How about letting Affleck play Green Arrow. LOL

  13. Affleck should be Hal Jordan! (but please don’t let him get near in that director’s seat)

  14. the only person he would want to play is an older version of superman…

  15. I feel like this whole project is a rush job to compete with the slow burning plot of the Avengers series. Without keeping with the same established actors of these respective franchises, (Bale, Reynolds, Cavill) I feel that DC would be doing itself the tremendous disservice of putting the cart before the horse.

    • yes, but they could also create an Avengers type universe using the first DC Justice League movie to branch a series of spin off character movies leading up to a Justice League 2.

      • (assuming JL is the mega blockbuster it could and ABSOLUTELY SHOULD be)

  16. DO you people not remember how horribly bad the Daredevil movie was because of Affleck? I say thumbs down when it comes to Affleck being involved in any more movies that are based on comic books.

    • Affleck had nothing to do creatively with Dare Devil, thus your comment is incredibly wrong.

  17. I would wait to hear what Affleck’s approach is before I form an opinion. I enjoyed the Town and thought it was from a direction standpoint well made. But beyond that I am not sure how I feel about it. Lately Affleck seems to be going after strong character stories which I think is defintely the direction DC should be heading: strong character drama and story arcs that is both, grounded yet epic.

    Some will not agree, but I would not mind the grounded approach to these films similar to that of The Dark Knght Rises and from what I can tell, The Man Of Steel. I can actually believe these characters can meet. The former felt epic in scale &the Man of Steel seems to be shaping up as well. Yet emphasis on character is what drives these films.

    I have always believed the Dark Knight Trilogy to be more grounded, and pratical/plausible rather than just straightforward realism and thus I always felt that Nolan or the series itself can venture to more sci-fi and fantastical elements if done in the right tone. The Dark Knight Rises for the most part maintain some of that grounded feel but elevated the scale and such and definitely seemed more comic book-ey without compromising majorly the grounded feel to it. And the Man of Steel seems the same way. The fantastic can introduced in subtle and grounded manner where it seems believable that the things the audience see on screen can happen even though they know it wont.

    So I would wait to hear more on DC/WB plans and direction and Affleck’s vision if he is interested before I state a better opinion

  18. big gamble, affleck killed one marvel character in his first comic book outing, dc could get wiped out in one hit.
    whats bens connection to comic books anyway, being holden mcneil doesnt count.
    at least whedon worked for marvel writing xmen.

    • Affleck never directed Dare Devil, it would take literally 2 seconds to look that up on google, but you people seem to not understand a damn thing about movies. Who said you had to be familiar with comics to direct great comic book movies? So Donner, Vaughn, Nolan, Burton didn’t make great comic book movies going by your logic?

      • And not forgetting Kenneth Brannagh with Thor, I’m pretty sure that was his first time in the comic book universe.


        • *Branagh*


      • I know,I didnt say he directed daredevil, you did, lol!

        Afflecks performance was so risible that it killed daredevil just as much as mark johnson did.
        Im not a huge fan of nolans batman he feels he has to inject a dark and gritty realism to make a comic book character seem believable, whedon went the other way and proved it more successful. I’d like to see the nolan treatment given to any other character in dc, it cant be done and wont be done, hes gone now.
        whedons method though can be successful with many characters for longer, hes not constrained by his vision as nolan was.
        burton will never make a comic book movie again as it is not 1989 anymore, reality check dude.
        donner sure, everyone loves the first superman,but im sure more people love the avengers over superman, or burtons batman, or even controversially nolans, a respect for the source material is key, its intersting you talked of vaughn, his xmen was the best xmen by far because he respected the source material, I suspect that jane goldmans influence (wife of jonothan ross, comic book fan and partner in new comic book movie with vaughn)helped but im sure vaughn understands that.
        to summarise an directors with experience of the industry are better, eg whedon, those that respect the source material are just as good eg vaughn and zack snyder.
        nolan stood out because he makes great films anyway.
        affleck has a mountain to climb here just to be in the lower tier comic director pantheon.

  19. This is interesting. I would never have connected Ben Affleck with a Justice League movie, but here it is.

    The bigger question here is, who is architecting the DCU for Warner Bros? Is there a Kevin Feige type working behind the scenes? What is going to be the approach to the DCU (comic book vibe, or semi realistic)? How does Affleck fit in with all this (architect, director, or both)? On the Marvel side, Joss gets the whole comic book scene; not so sure about Affleck. Architecting the universe is just as important, as it sets the stage for any subsequent movies that might follow.

  20. Bale is done… I don’t see him being Batman… I like the idea of Affleck as The Flash. I think he can pull that off. As director of JL, I’d like to hear his ideas first. I think he could pull it off. I’d like him to go the New 52 route with the JL…

    Henry Caville – Superman
    Ryan Goshling – Batman
    Chris Pine – Green Lantern
    Ben Affleck – The Flash
    The Rock – Cyborg
    Michelle Williams – Wonder Woman
    Sam Worthington – Aquaman

    • Doubt cyborg Will be included. and Ryan gosling has nothing going for him that makes me believe he could play batman. I could see him as aquaman. or the flash. I’m still pulling for Patrick Wilson for Barry Allen!

  21. I really like Affleck as an actor. But I don’t really see a place for him in the film. He might be able to pull off Hal Jordan.

  22. he would probably ask Kevin smith to help, i would like to see that…

  23. Mike Fleming over at Deadline says That Afflecks reps say that this isnt true .

  24. I’m surprised DC didn’t make more of an effort way back when the first two Superman films were so successful, they would have hit the ground running.

    They could have done the same thing after Burton’s first Batman film, again a big success which got the ball rolling.

    It’s not as if they haven’t had opportunities to capitalise on their success’s, but all we’ve actually seen is Superman on the small screen in the form of ‘Lois and Clarke’ and ‘Smallville’.

    The Flash got a (short lived one season) TV series back in 1990 which I don’t remember being too great.

    So it’s not like they haven’t had their foot in the door to get their character’s up on the big screen the way Marvel have, but now it’s just playing catch-up with Marvel’s success.

    • I did forget ‘Wonder Woman’ with Linda Carter, and ‘The Incredible Hulk’ with Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno, two pretty successful series.

      So plenty of opportunities for DC, they just haven’t taken them.

  25. Affleck as Flash, or aquaman? I have a feeling he culd make aquaman cool. (i for one liked daredevil) :)

    • I didn’t mind Daredevil either, wasn’t all that fussed with the Elektra character though. Don’t know how that character got funding for a feature film.

      • ever seen directors cut of daredevil?

        • I haven’t, I’ve heard several people here though who say it’s much better than the theatrical release.

          Why, does it expand on the Elektra character as well in some way? Still, I really didn’t think much of that character, perhaps it was just the way she was portrayed by Garner, or the way it was written for that film.

          • yap it is like completely different movie it has like 30 minutes or more and it is much much better than theatrical version, just watch the movie or listen captain logans review…

          • Daredevil Director’s Cut flows much better…

  26. I don’t know to direct a Comic Book film you sure don’t need the knowledge of Comic Books it has been proved these past years but were talking about JL here this film has to have a good script. Hopefully somebody else with more experience takes Directors seat

  27. Is it already April 1st? I thought at the end you would have said, “Just kidding”…

  28. I’ve never seen Affleck’s movies (as director) but seeing that they are both critically acclaimed, and Argo looks posed to be a winner as well, I’d be very excited with Affleck in the director’s chair.

    I could also definitely see Affleck playing Batman. I would be totally fine with that as well. But seeing as Affleck is a year older than Bale (39, 38) I’d assume that this would not be a reboot, and rather a continuation/spinoff of Bale’s Batman.

    But of course, this is all just speculation, as Affleck isn’t even in the director’s seat yet, let alone the starring role.

  29. IMO Affleck would be an excellent choice to helm the JL movie. He’s already proved himself to be a more than competent director with Gone Baby Gone, The Town and soon to be Argo. Argo is already generating serious Oscar buzz, if it does well he’ll be riding the coattails of that. He is already an Oscar winning writer. He knows what makes a “bad” comic book movie. He’s well connected in both the Film and Comic industries and he could help bring in some high profile talent (especially behind the scenes). I just think he’d be a superb choice for Warner Bros.
    Plus, Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms.