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. You’ve got to be kidding me.

  2. Oh dear god no.

  3. Well, if this happens, then just say goodbye to the chances of this DC ensemble film being anywhere close to being as good as Marvel’s…

  4. Well……I guess we can kiss DC’s credibility goodbye.

  5. X-men Last stand and Rush Hour 2 are among his finest films!!! What’s not to love… well DC it seems.

  6. Look at it ths way ,
    a couple of weeks ago practically every site in the internet thought the Affleck rumor was true, even though Afflecks people came out pretty quickly and denied it .(SR handled it right.)
    So, now,
    when a site that I have never heard of reports this dubious news,
    I do indeed take it with a LARGE grain of salt .

  7. This might be THE worst decision they could make, if they go with Brett Hackner

  8. April Foo…..Oh wait it’s the end of August. The Internet will now meltdown in 10….9…..8…..

    • lol :)

      • ha

  9. I think that Warner Bros. floated that turd out there just to see how many of us would give it a discourteous flush…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

  10. Before even hitting Theatres, the Justice League film has broken world records. The first film in history to bomb before they secured: a writer, cast, film score, and more importantly: a release date! Thank you Brett for fracking up a great idea!

  11. Before even hitting Theatres, the Justice League film has broken world records. The first film in history to bomb before they secured: a writer, cast, film score, and more importantly: a release date! Thank you Brett for F£*#¥ing up a great idea!

  12. NO NO NO this guy sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Before even hitting Theatres, the Justice League film has broken world records. The first film in history to bomb before they secured: a writer, cast, film score, and more importantly: a release date! Thank you Brett for f—–g up a great idea!

  14. First of all the news came from a site called the superman super site…..yea before now I’ve never heard of it. Also remember when Louis Leterrier revealed he was on the shortlist for the Avengers back then too but it turned out he was way low, well this could be the same here….if it’s true of course.

  15. Before even hitting Theatres, the Justice League film has broken world records. The first film in history to bomb before they secured: a writer, cast, film score, and more importantly: a release date! Thank you Brett for ——- up a great idea!

  16. Before even hitting Theatres, the Justice League film has broken world records. The first film in history to bomb before they secured: a writer, cast, film score, and more importantly: a release date! Thank you Brett for ruining a great idea!

  17. Before even hitting Theatres, the Justice League film has broken world records. The first film in history to fail before they secured: a writer, cast, film score, and more importantly: a release date! Thank you Brett for ruining a great idea!

  18. I am more concerned with how the characters are portrayed. I do not want “dark” (as in the spate of Batman films). I do not want light-hearted comedy-jams with non-stop so-called humor that goes flat either. It seems to me that something slightly more serious than Spiderman #1, Iron Man #1, or X-Men #1 would be in order. Also to be considered is which heroes (and how many) to use. I would stick with the original JLA members, which were (not necessarily in order): Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), The Flash (Barry Allen), Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, The Atom, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Hawkman (sometimes with Hawkgirl in tow). The screen-time necessary to make a well-rounded movie would have to be about 3 hours, which as long as the script, acting, directing, plot, and special effects are there would not be too long to hold fans’ attention (look at The ten Commandments…that was over 4 hours long, and it was riveting!). It will take that long to give everyone enough screen time that they don’t look like they have “walk-on” two-bit parts. And then there is the issue of villains: you need enough baddies to give the JLA a fight. This probably means multiple villains, and not wimpy ones, either. perhaps Apocalypse, Darkseid, Professor Zoom (Reverse Flash), The Time Commander, and just to work the heroes against each other, the Psycho Pirate? I would guess these would all be viable villains, especially teamed up. This is a rough undertaking due to size and number of characters (and lack so far of any development, except Superman and Batman, who would likely have to be rewritten as rebooted characters, and Green lantern). I might recommend a few team-up films with 2 or 3 heroes: say, Hawkman/Atom/Martian Manhunter in one film, Flash/Green Lantern in another. And use my favorites for Flash & Green lantern (barry Allen & hal Jordan). I would also like to see 2 Justice Society members together in a team-up movie: Dr. fate (Kent Nelson) and Hourman (Rex Tyler). They were great buds and team-mates in the old comics back in the 60s.Good movie potential there. In the meantime, continue on with Ryan Reynolds as green lantern (just fix the problems for the next couple GL movies), and get The Flash franchise going. DC will have to fast-track some of these movies before the fn-base is too old to remember them, which means a full-court press. And although I am hopeful for the next Superman movie, all the previous Batman and superman movies have been pretty poor. DC needs to quite piddling around with them and move on to developing other heroes with an eye both to a JLA franchise and to other individula or mini-team-up movies as well.

  19. Wow… I really like Rush Hour, but other than that most of hi work has been pretty mediocre (and that’s excluding Last Stand – that movie was downright terrible IMO)
    Please let this only be a rumor, please!

    • Either that or he’s way down on the list but again look at the site that the news came from, lawl.

  20. they should consider kevin smith

    • He says he is retired from filmmaking and focused on Smodcast now.

  21. Maybe Zack Snyder could tackle JLA as well. Makes sense if you think about it.

    • it makes perfect sense to me… he did watchmen which was a team film

    • Yes!

  22. Marvel Studios should offer Bruce Timm the Daredevil movie if Warner Bros. doesn’t hire him to direct and executive produce Justice League. Timm revived JL for an entire generation and maintained DC characters ‘s relevance after train wrecks like Batman and Robin, Catwoman, and Green Lantern.

    Joss Whedon is going to need someone as highly regarded by fanboys as is Bruce Timm to maintain the quality of the films over the next several years.

    WB execs need to get their collective heads out of Nolan’s arse and give this man the keys to their cinematic kingdom.

  23. Ben Affleck is looking pretty going now isn’t he? :D

    • Wow, I don’t know how that happened…..it should read,

      Ben Affleck is looking pretty GOOD now isn’t he?

      • I goat it.

  24. Ooooh nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

  25. DC needs to plan the trilogy before releasing the first movie. It should be treated similarly to Lord of The Rings. Have one main villian, i would guess Darkseid, who is hell bent on ruling earth. That way, they can spend the first movie really introducing Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Aquaman and Green Lantern. Others can be introduced in the second and third film in the trilogy obviously leading to the epic final battle in the third film. I would like to see Martian Manhunter act as a wise space traveller who realizes the threat that is coming to earth and makes first contact with the president, perhaps Lex Luther? Luther doesnt believe him and instead wants to study him as the first alien (secretly Lex knows the threat and is hoping to team up with Darkseid to gain immunity in exchange for military and defense secrets?) At this point Manhunter travels across the globe looking for the strongest defense against Darkseid and essentially creates the justice lague. The first movie can focus on character development and the big hero personalities trying to work together as scouts for Darkseid comes to earth. Maybe bring in some major villians for the JL to fight who are working for Darkseid. The only way a JL story on film would work would require about ten movie hours, therefore they need to plan three films before shooting anything. The story will not work without careful planning for all three films ahead of time, and please do not hire this idiot for it.

  26. “Sigh” dear God in heaven.

  27. Wow. No thanks. What a hack. I’ve grown to hate everything he’s done lately. Don’t drop the ball WB.

  28. X-Men 3: The Last Stand was the worst of the three X-Men movies.

  29. I’m not a Ratner-hater but his work on X3 was only functional – they needed a guy to move all the parts on a schedule under instructions and that’s what he did. X3 scored its box-office take by riding on the goodwill of X2, and the fact that it wasn’t terrible enough for people to discourage others from going. But it wasn’t good.

    Given that something like a Justice League movie will generate its own hype and revenue, I really don’t see an argument for getting Ratner on board. I’d rather they sent the proverbial dump truck of cash up to Nolan’s place, or Affleck for that matter.

    • Please WB show affleck or Mr Nolan the $$$$$!

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