The search is on for a viable candidate to direct Warner Bros./DC Comics' Justice League live-action movie, which accounts for the plethora of JL rumors circulating right now. Early consensus is Zack Snyder's approaching Superman reboot, Man of Steel, won't kick off a series of interconnected DC superhero films that build up to Justice League - like how Marvel's Iron Man laid the foundation for The Avengers; rather, the DC teamup will arrive right after Man of Steel (potentially rebooting the Batman movie franchise in the process).
Some eight filmmakers are reportedly being eyed for the Justice League directing job right now - scroll down to learn who's been identified as a contestant so far.
Ben Affleck was the first person singled out as a serious contender to tackle Justice League, but he shot down those rumors over the weekend. Shortly thereafter, new reports emerged that Andy and Lana Wachowski are in the running, thanks to Warner Bros.' approval of their big-budget, star-studded, ensemble adaptation Cloud Atlas - not to mention, their proven adoration of the comic book medium (the Matrix trilogy, for example, was heavily influenced by Japanese manga).
Last night, reports that Brett Ratner could be in charge of Justice League began making the rounds, but were by and large dismissed as rumor (much to the relief of many a comic book fan). However, Peter Georgious of ThinkMcflyThink has lent further credibility to that assertion, while also revealing three more filmmakers who are (or, at the least, were) being considered for JL - namely, Zack Snyder, Ruben Fleischer, and McG.
Snyder is currently busy putting the finishing touches on his Superman reboot, but makes sense as someone who Warner Bros/DC would consider to direct Justice League. The studio has maintained a comfortable working relationship with Snyder through times both good (300, Watchmen) and bad (Sucker Punch); moreover, reactions to the Man of Steel footage released so far has been overall positive. It's a situation that recalls when Marvel was said to be grooming Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau for the Avengers job - that is, before the mixed response to Iron Man 2 (and the subsequent hiring of Joss Whedon).
Fleischer, by comparison, is fresh off directing the Warner Bros. crime drama Gangster Squad. Preliminary buzz is that the studio heartily approves of the film - which partly accounts for why the movie is currently being recut and delayed, in order to avoid associations with the Colorado theater massacre last month. Gangster Squad screenwriter Will Beall is also penning the Justice League script, so that provides all the more reason to believe that Warner Bros./DC would be open to reuniting the writer-director pair for another high-profile, dark and mature ensemble piece.
The "problem-child" of the aforementioned trio is, of course, onetime music video helmer-turned-filmmaker, McG. He does have such lucrative hits as Charlie's Angels and Terminator Salvation to his credit, along with a longtime role as co-showrunner on the successful CW television series Supernatural. However, McG is essentially a glorified director-for-hire who specializes in popcorn entertainment - rather than ambitious spectacle-driven projects and comic book adaptations that the Wachowskis and Snyder are known for. Even Ratner boasts X-Men: The Last Stand as qualification for Justice League (yes, we're citing X-Men 3 experience as a good thing in this case... comparatively speaking).
Bear in mind, none of the aforementioned directors should be considered as locks for the Justice League job - assuming they are, in fact, still circling the project (or were actually in the running at any point in time). Moreover, by our count, there are still three people vying for the JL helmer's chair that have yet to be announced in public, so the winner could be someone else (besides the names discussed here, that is).
None of the filmmakers mentioned so far have spotless track records, but many of them do have a project or two on their resume that suggests they could deliver a satisfying Justice League movie. We will keep our fingers crossed that one of the more promising candidates (or another option altogether) secures the job - and continue to keep you posted, as the story develops.
Who do you want to direct Justice League? Sound off in the comments section.