Brett Ratner on Director Short List for ‘Justice League’ Movie?

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 12th, 2013 at 8:03 am,

Brett Ratner Directing Justice League Brett Ratner on Director Short List for Justice League Movie?

Once a guilty pleasure generally cast aside by the film industry, the new and improved ‘comic book movie’ is now not only a legitimate venture, but the type of project that can turn relative unknowns or niche talent into household names overnight. Marvel is enjoying its reign in the wake of The Avengers‘ critical and commercial success, all set to commence Phase Two while the iron is hot. But while movie fans await the next wave, Warner Bros. and DC Comics have quite a task on their hands.

The inevitable Justice League movie isn’t showing any sign of losing momentum, meaning those entrusted with DC Comic’s feature film adaptations now face the task of assembling the necessary ‘dream team’ if there’s any hope of following Marvel’s lead. With more than a few leading roles still to cast, the directing chair needs to be filled first – and soon. We now know that Ben Affleck is out with the Wachowskis possibly on deck, but the newest reports claim that Brett Ratner has also been placed on the short list.

The reports come from Superman Super Site, claiming that the decision is far from final, but Brett Ratner is one name being strongly considered:

“The studio is very pleased with the work that Brett [Ratner] has done as a producer and director on past projects,” states our sources. “They are now very interested in seeing what he can do with helping finally bring this group of iconic superheroes to the big screen!”

Ratner’s experience at the helm of X-Men 3: The Last Stand is certainly a strong factor, which, while being somewhat of a divisive issue among comic book fans was nevertheless the most profitable film in the trilogy. It’s worth repeating that Warner Bros. is even close to settling on a final choice, since the mere mention of Ratner’s name among superhero movie fans is guaranteed to spark fierce debate.

While we’re not the biggest fans of jumping on the Ratner-hate-train, any director’s resume is admissible when discussing their suitability for large movie franchises. In the case of the Justice League, a franchise that will act as keystone for possibly one of the largest commercial series in movie history. The last generation of superhero comic book movies may have been tailor-made for blockbuster directors experienced with mixing action and laughs, so Ratner’s work on the Rush Hour trilogy and last year’s Tower Heist makes some sense. But in today’s industry, things have changed.

With Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, Joss Whedon’s Avengers, and Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class – the project that successfully rebooted the mutant team – the studios turned to tried and true, honest-to-goodness storytellers. Nolan, Whedon and Vaughn didn’t just write the screenplays for their respective films, they’d already proven themselves as writers before being considered for the director’s chairs. For the upcoming Man of Steel, a film that may well determine the viability of a shared DC universe as large as Marvel’s, Warner Bros. has turned to Zack Snyder. While a less substantial resume holder, Snyder is nevertheless experienced in taking a story from page to the screen – experience Ratner lacks.

The fact is, there is plenty of evidence that making a superhero or comic book movie can go catastrophically wrong in more ways than can be imagined, provided the director isn’t up to the challenge. And while Ratner has defended his work in the face of criticism from comic book fans, the Justice League film has more riding on it than most directors will be likely to handle. Provided Man of Steel is a success, Justice League will be saddled with the responsibility of delivering a satisfying follow-up for the new Superman, rebooting Batman outside of his own dedicated film, possibly saving Green Lantern from a repeat disappointment, and introducing enough new characters to please more than the mainstream audience.

That’s even more opportunity for failure than Joss Whedon faced, but every one of those tasks must arguably be accomplished for Warner Bros. to be poised for continued success. As our own Kofi Outlaw pointed out, what the DC Movie Universe really needs is a shepherd for the foreseeable future. Christopher Nolan is a visionary storyteller and proven director, but a challenge this massive would likely test even his nerve. And besides, he’s already made it clear he isn’t interested. If Ratner is up to the task, we applaud his courage, but all rumors and hints at the direction DC and Warner Bros. is taking seems greatly different from his usual work.

New 52 Superman Wonder Woman Brett Ratner on Director Short List for Justice League Movie?

It was Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar who first caught wind of the Justice League script dealing with far darker and mature subjects and characters than anything Marvel has experimented with. While that news may have come as somewhat of a shock, the recent makeover of DC’s Universe seems to be following suit. Comic book fans who have been keeping up with DC’s New 52 have witnessed some truly surprising things: an insecure Green Lantern out to impress anyone and everyone, and a re-imagined Superman who seems more interested in letting his fists do the talking, and comparing his own strength to others, than embodying “truth, justice,” or “the American way.”

Considering the amount of time DC and Warner Bros. have put into crafting a new breed of heroes and villains that can make the bonds between film and comic book stronger and clearer, this might be the version of the Justice League that moviegoers will ultimately be introduced to.

If that is the case, then Ratner’s brand of action and humor – while successful in its own right – is hard to marry with the tone and attitude a Justice League feature film will likely exhibit. There’s a first time for everything, of course, but for now it’s hard to imagine Warner Bros. entrusting the project to any director who hasn’t already warranted high praise, not to mention the support of the core Comic-Con fans. For now, we’d recommend taking this report with a grain of salt.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on Justice League, along with any other DC projects and rumors.

Source: Superman Super Site [via CBM]

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  1. Did I just hear the world’s largest collective groan?

    • yes

    • I second @Alpine , Yes

  2. If Nolan is saying that he’s not interested in being the so-call “shepherd” of the DC/Justice universe, then it says a few different things. One, is that he’s not liking what DC has in mind. Two, perhaps, he has his own ideas, but DC hasn’t backed the truck up to give him the money so that he will be allowed to express all those ideas. Three, I don’t find that too likely given his success, so either at this point, it’s not about the money, it’s about the time needed to devote to the series. Four, Nolan wants to do other projects and he’s weary of comic book movies (for now.) Or five, he just simply doesn’t think that DC can/should follow Marvel’s model and be successful.

    • Or 6: Nolan’s done what he wanted to do with Batman (told an epic tale) and is ready to move on to other things… maybe more original work like Inception, or even other franchises like 007.
      This guy doesn’t want to be tied down to one genre or franchise. He’s a creative genius (a slightly overrated creative genius, but a creative genius nonetheless ;)).
      Chris Nolan just isn’t a comic book fan. It’s as simple as that. He did Batman because he saw an opportunely to do something very different from what’s been done before and he succeeded with that.

      …but that’s just my take on the matter.

      • Avenger, I think you have nailed it with Nolan. People are just assuming that either he’s holding out for money or that he is not being truthful about this being it and he will swoop in and save the day so to speak. I don’t think so. If he wanted the money, he would already have taken it. I don’t think money motivates him. I’m not trying to paint him as some kind of idealist, although he does appear to be one with regard to continuing to use film instead of going digital. He’ll make his money regardless. But what I mean is that he could have so easily went full commercial, done a couple straight money grabs, but he hasn’t. Also, perhaps Nolan’s twisty method of storytelling just doesn’t fit with what DC/WB want to do with the JL movie(s).

        • I think you’ve both got it. It seemed the case with Nolan and Bale that they are far too talented auteurs to stay anchored. Nothing against Robert Downey, Jr., but Bale seems just as drawn to odd, small character pieces as large projects, and the same with Nolan.

          And you’re right, at this point, Nolan doesn’t really need to worry about money being offered.

  3. Is this a “short” list or another word that begins with “s-h” and ends with “t?”

  4. Who needs the Legion of Doom when you’ve got this news?!

  5. I feel like someone pooped in my Frosted Flakes.

    • That might just be some rogue Coco Pops.

  6. i hope this is not true …i would be very very disapointed if they put the movie in his hands .. last stand was horrible ..

  7. Brett Ratner needs to go direct Rush Hour 4 and leave Justice League to the big boys.

    If Ratner lands this job I will lose all hope for this movie.

  8. he was also on the list to direct the long ago passed project- superman and batman-. if he would have a good scriptwriter then he could handle it. the late 90s and early twozeros movies of rattner were fun and good action movies.

  9. Brett Ratner? Are you mental? Did anyone see x-men 3?

    • yeah i know he is not a fan fav., also not mine.i´ve just commented his older movies,and the directing in x-men3 was not that bad,just the script(story) was crap. i mean rush hour was fun at that time. and 10 or 12 years ago the studios had high hopes for his projects that never did come to frution like -superman- or the-superman and batman- project. maybe superman returns would have been better if he had direct it. but,like i said he is not on my fav.directors list. these are just facts.

  10. Get the Wachowski Brothers to do this! Holy s*** Brett Ratner is the one director you dont want working on this type of film.

  11. Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo! snif! – Stark

  12. Have the WB Execs. lost their damn mind? Entrusting something as delicate as a JL film to Brett Ratner? Wachowskis would do a far better job although I’d personally like to see Ben Affleck helming this one.

  13. Well thats a sure fire way to make sure it sucks. First Affleck and now Ratner???!!? What the hell is DC thinking?

  14. This is the ***LAST*** person they should get.

  15. Why stop at Ratner… get Bay to produce it too.. that should ratchet up the pure awesome of it all…. *disengages sarcasm mode*

    • Bay producing this would be more suited to mcg. Neither should direct this. I think the wachoskis films are a little too stylish for this.

  16. You know for all the s*** Ratner receives people tend to forget he DID direct one helluva good Hannibal Lecter film.

    • You’re referring to the virtual scene for scene remake of the Michael Mann cult classic? Using the exact same DP, Dante Spinotti? That’s the “helluva” good film you’re referring to?

  17. NOOOOOO!!!!! Really there is nobody else in Hollywood who can direct this thing. Ben Affleck is starting to sound good about now. No not Brett Ratner please! I beg you, please.!

  18. Haha maybe its a ruse by WB. People were devided on Ben Affleck or the wakowskis directing so they were like, “oh these fanboys, we know what will shut them up”… They throw Brett Ratner’s name out there… Now when they actually say who the director(s) is, people will love them universally because anything is better than Ratner lol. Well played WB, well played.

  19. I think the main problem DC/Warner Bros face is that Avengers has set the bar really high, higher than Nolan achieved with The Dark Knight. For the non-comic book reading audience out there, they struggle to distinguish between the DC and Marvel universes; all they see are comic book movies.

    With so much pressure on, DC/WB really need to make sure they pick the right director for the Justice League movie (and Brett Ratner is definitely the wrong person for the project IMHO).

    Why not go for a less obvious choice (Branagh did a great job with Thor as did Whedon with Avengers. Both were not the most obvious choices before their respective movies came out, but after the fact everyone is gushing about what a great job they both did).

    Anytime I hear Brett Ratner’s name attached to a project I inwardly groan, the botch job he did with X-Men 3 still fresh in my mind (no matter how hard i try to exorcise the images)

  20. He was involved with Xmen 3? can i get a hell no!!

    • hell no!!

  21. I’m actually someone who enjoys X-Men 3 – my favorite of the trilogy in fact. *Ducks for cover* However, unlike people like Nolan and Whedon, I don’t see Ratner as a well-thought, creative filmmaker. He is just one of the many common filmmakers out there, which isn’t what a Justice League film needs. So please, no Ratner for me.

  22. they should get no risks(and that´s just an idea,please don´t take it too serious) and hire top-directors like spielberg or j.cameron,haha i think that would not happen. but,think about the possibility that one of those two directors would make a justice – league movie,that would be better for the nerves to know that the project is in good hands.

  23. Well, the optimist in me says: “At least they’re not thinking about Uwe Boll…”

  24. I’ve said before that i’d rather see a Batman and Superman film than a justice league film because the characters really don’t have that interesting of chemistry to me, but who knows maybe they can make it really good. I like some of Brett Ratner’s stuff i think he definitely knows how to do a good movie and his movies are overall a good time and he seems to really like what he does but i think it all comes down to the story and if its good enough, maybe this movie will be a chance for him to challenge himself and try to make better films than he has in the past (X-Men the Last Stand). I actually liked the third X-Men movie but i definitely like Singer’s and Vaughn’s moives a lot better they nailed it to me, but hey i’d much rather like to see a justice league movie directed by Ratner than by McG i hated those two Charlieze angels movies god they sucked i never saw Terminator Salvation but it looked decent to me but in my mind Rattner’s just a better director, Snyder i wouldn’t want not because i think he’s a bad director but because i’ve already seen him do his DC stuff on Superman (again really excited about it) and i would probably be less excited for the Justice League movie if they jsut got a guy that had already been making movies for them. I think Affleck is a brilliant director i wouldv’e liked to see a Justice Legaue movie by him but thats not happening :( I liked the first Matrix movie the other two were really more about action than they were about story to me at least and i have a good feeling i’m not al one in that department. So out of all the people they’re thinking about i think Ratner is the one that i’d be the most excited for.

  25. I only hope whom ever directs this movie doesn’t drop the ball on the character looks and casting as they did with X-Men. What I am referring to is Storm character although I understand the transformation between between each movie. None of them actual captured her essence… Her hair nor custom was up to pair..How hard would it had to put Storm in some High Heels to make her seem taller or even put two wigs together to give her that full body hair look!!! I am just saying please don’t miss that opportunity with Wonder Woman she is an Amazon not a midget!! She is to have that full body hair 2 wigs put together please and most important the actress should be exotic beautiful!!!!!!

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