When Marvel Studios hit it big with this summer’s The Avengers (to the tune of nearly $1.5 billion), DC Comics parent company Warner Bros. decided that it too wanted a slice of that sweet superhero team movie cash. Initially the studio hoped to entice Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan to helm a film based on DC’s Justice League superteam, but when Nolan decided he’d rather retire from making films about superhumans in spandex Warner Bros. was left wondering who else might be able to direct a film worthy of the world’s longest-running superhero squad.
Now, according to a new Variety report, it seems that the WB have a new candidate in mind, namely Ben Affleck:
With Christopher Nolan declaring himself out of the running for JUSTICE LEAGUE, Warner Bros. has approached another of its go-to directors in Ben Affleck, who’s expected to discuss the project with studio brass in the coming days, multiple sources tell Variety’s Jeff Sneider and Justin Kroll. Since guiding WB’s THE TOWN to commercial success and critical acclaim from both sides of the camera, Affleck has ascended high on the studio’s list of filmmakers who can be trusted with prime properties. Thus far, Affleck is the only candidate who’s been sent Will Beall’s JUSTICE LEAGUE script, which the GANGSTER SQUAD scribe was hired to write last summer.
As the Variety piece points out, Affleck has repeatedly insisted that he is only willing to direct films in which he also stars (see 2010 heist movie The Town or the upcoming Argo), so it seems likely that if Affleck and Warner Bros. can come to an agreement on Affleck’s Justice League involvement that he might also be joining the cast as one of DC’s most famous superheroes. Given the massive roster the League has seen over the past sixty-plus years, Affleck could hypothetically appear as any number of heroes, including Superman, Aquaman or The Flash. For that matter, since Christian Bale’s involvement with this Justice League movie likely hinges almost entirely on Christopher Nolan directing the thing, Affleck might even be cast as Batman.
However, Warner Bros.’ discussion of Affleck’s involvement with this project is still in the very early stages and has any number of stumbling blocks to overcome before anything solid can be said of the direction this film might take. Notably, if Affleck were to agree to direct a Justice League film, the production process on such a massive, CGI-heavy blockbuster would likely preclude Affleck’s involvement in any other films for a number of years. Variety believes this might inspire Affleck to balk at the offer, though it’s safe to assume that the massive potential profit for anyone involved in a Justice League movie would give Affleck ample reason to sign an agreement with Warner Bros.
For that matter, Affleck might sign on with this project purely for the geek cred. Despite his good looks and dating history that reads like a list of Maxim’s hottest women on Earth, Affleck has undeniable geek leanings. One of his best pals is director and noted comic book nerd Kevin Smith, and you may recall that Affleck has already gone the superhero route as the titular blind protagonist in 2003′s not-great-but-totally-underrated Daredevil. We have no insider information on how Affleck feels about the possible Justice League film, but based on the man’s history we have to assume that he’s at least somewhat psyched about possibly taking the reins of a film featuring all of DC Comics’ most notable characters.