Regardless of whether or not the upcoming Man of Steel film is a success or failure, Warner Bros. is moving forward with a Justice League film. According to Variety, writer/director/actor Ben Affleck is the first candidate to direct the massive super-hero script, written by Castle’s Will Beall who also wrote the upcoming Warner Bros. mobster movie, Gangster Squad.
This will not be an easy decision for Affleck, who regardless of what you think of him as an actor, can direct a film. He made his debut as a director with Gone Baby Gone in 2007, then The Town in 2010 and one of this year’s most anticipated films, Argo.
First there’s the immense pressure involved in making a Justice League film, with absolutely nothing to stand on now that Christopher Nolan has left the Batman film franchise and is now producing the Superman film, Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and that may or may not be a hit with audiences. Green Lantern was a failure for Warner Bros. and audiences, fair or unfair, will expect this to rival Marvel’s The Avengers.
Secondly, as Joss Whedon found out this week, these type of movies tend to eat up a good portion of your life. Nolan spent a seven to eight years, maybe longer with Batman. John Favreau has a similar experience with Iron Man. These are big commitments, potentially, and for an actor/director who likes to balance his career with writing, acting and directing projects, that flexibility would be gone. He’s currently working on a motion picture version of Stephen King’s The Stand, which could be in line beforehand and he is weighing the opportunity to star in Greg Berlanti’s sci-fi drama, Replay, which is based on Ken Grimwood’s 1987 time-looping novel of the same name.
Next, Affleck doesn’t have much on his directing resume for a film of this magnitude. Granted, neither did Favreau when he helmed the first Iron Man, and look how that worked out. And yes, with Affleck there’s always the possibility of him wanting to be in front of the camera at some point, and that can be spotty as far as great performances go. Too many naysayers will bring up Daredevil, but I don’t think it was that bad. There are far worse comic book film adaptations since and Affleck did play George Reeves who was TV’s Superman in the 2006 indie film, Hollywoodland, which was about the mysterious death of Reeves in 1959.
But this would also be an opportunity of a lifetime and imagine if he could do the same magic he worked on his other films he’s directed, onto the Justice League and deliver? He would be worshiped by fanboys forever and be forgiven for his Matt Murdock, or at least his ill-fitting of DD’s costume and mask. What he’d make off of a successful Justice League film would allow Affleck to do any independent venture he wanted as long as he could fit it into his schedule. Chances are the film, which would be released no sooner than summer of 2015 (against Avengers 2) would partially take place in Boston, because that’s what Affleck does.
It’s a bold choice to say the least and one that could work in the end. Hopefully Beall’s script lives up to everything we dream it should be, whether or not Affleck is involved. What do you think of Affleck being a potential director for Justice League?