As much as we hate playing into the “he said, she said, his or her people said” game of entertainment journalism, since we already told you guys yesterday that Warner Bros. was keen to have Ben Affleck helm its inevitable movie based on DC Comics’ Justice League, it seems that Affleck himself isn’t really in support of this plan. At least, that’s the case assuming you believe Deadline over Variety.
Yesterday, as you’ll recall, we reported on a piece Variety had published claiming that Affleck had become the WB’s first choice for director after Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan made it clear that he was out of the superhero movie biz. That seemed reasonable for a number of reasons, outlined in our previous article. However, this morning, Deadline posted a piece claiming that it had been in contact with people close to Affleck who say that the man has no intention of joining the production.
Now, it makes sense that Warner Bros would offerAffleck the project. Chris Nolan is top man over there, but after three Batfilms and after producing the Superman reboot Man of Steel, he’s gotten spandex-clad protagonists out of his system. After Nolan, the studio then offers everything else to Harry Potter director David Yates (who is now keen on Tarzan) and Affleck, who has become a major director with Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and the upcoming Argo. Just because the studio wants Affleck doesn’t mean he will do the movie, and several sources tell me he might take a meeting, but that’s it.
While Deadline seems sure of its claims, it offers scant few reasons why Affleck would refuse the opportunity. It does point out that Affleck likely would only want to take on this project if he has figured out a clever way to create a film that might possibly top Joss Whedon’s mega-successful Marvel Studios flick The Avengers, but beyond that Deadline’s entire piece hinges on the site’s anonymous sources who don’t see Affleck’s involvement with Justice League to be very likely.
In the end, it basically comes down to who you trust more: Variety or Deadline. We don’t want to take sides here since we can’t even claim to have insider information on this topic, so it looks like we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this film when/if Warner Bros. gets around to making official personnel decisions. In the meantime, we’ll again point out that Affleck would be a perfectly reasonable choice for the project — the man both has superhero movie experience and is a surprisingly competent director — but that at the same time Deadline does make a good point: Why would Affleck want to attach himself to such a high-profile project when it inherently brings with it such a massively high expectations?
We fully expect to see the Justice League movie hit theaters at some point in the near future, but as much as we’d like to offer you guys some solid info on the flick, thanks to Variety and Deadline’s disagreement, we’re back to knowing absolutely nothing useful about this production. Apologies to any of you who got prematurely excited.