The director who was approached to helm the Justice League movie is... Ben Affleck

On the blazing comet tail of the big Marvel-Joss Whedon-Avengers 2 news comes this strange announcement: Ben Affleck -- that Ben Affleck -- has been approached by Warner Bros. to direct DC's equally huge Justice League movie, which is set to go right up against The Avengers 2. While Affleck is a true, real, bona fide film director (Amy Ryan was nominated for an Oscar for Gone Baby Gone, Affleck's first film), isn't this a little soon for him? Are we ready for Ben Affleck to step into Joss Whedon's turf? Or should he step back and take a cue from Jon Favreau and Kenneth Branagh, and take one comic book superhero at a time? Who could go up against Joss Whedon with a Justice League movie right now? Is Kevin Smith jealous that he wasn't asked? But more importantly: Which city in the DC universe is Boston, and which DC superhero will have that accent? (via /Film, Newsarama)


  1. Actors enjoy being directed by him, he gets great performances from them, he constructs coherent action sequences and his films are good cinema.

    Outside of his own personal choice. Why not?

    1.  if you’re planning on creating one of the biggest franchises ever, you’d want someone that’s a bit better then a guy that’s “pretty good with actors”. What you want a visionary, a proven director with skill and talent.

        1. Honestly your only other full length movie options are a tiny bit of Thor and Serenity…

          I’m not sure I’d call The Avengers visonary…

          1. Since you seemed to have missed my point. Comparing Avengers to a Justice League film, Dan thinks you need a director with vision and talent. I merely was pointing out that a similar franchise seemed to do just fine in the hands of someone who did not have that much skill as a film director, but managed to make a fun and entertaining film.

        2. This is a reply to your next comment below – Whedon demonstrably had great skill, vision, and talent prior to making The Avengers. Not primarily from film but from all of his television work (and he was a writer for a lot of films, anyway, including Toy Story apparently). And importantly, it’s all stuff deeply embedded in geek culture and he has seldom strayed from that. He was perfect for The Avengers.

          Affleck did co-write Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon, and directed a couple of generally well-received films (and wrote the script for one of them too). But nothing even remotely relevant to geek culture (despite the plot and setting of Good Will Hunting). Correction: he played Basketball Player #10 (uncredited) in the Buffy The Vampire Slayer film. Daredevil doesn’t count.

          There really is no comparison other than the fact that Whedon hadn’t directed such a big film as The Avengers either (he had only directed one other film, actually, Serenity which is pretty good).

          I know you’re not actually defending Affleck as a choice to direct a film like this, by the way :)

  2. Similar thoughts were said of Favreau when he got Iron Man and look what that led to.  If nothing else, I am just going to imagine his character from Chasing Amy is the one directing and it will be all good.

    1. It led to one film that was pretty great (Iron Man) and one film that was a colossal disappointment and utterly tedious (Iron Man 2).

      1. Colossal disappointment to you, enjoyable with its issues to me. However, you can not deny that without the success of Iron Man we wouldn’t have gotten the rest of the Avengers series.

        1. Considering that all the villains in the first two Iron Man movies used Stark’s technology, Avengers was the first time Tony’s exploits really pushed him into “causing more good than harm” territory.

        2. I agree, IM2 wasn’t bad at all. Some of the best RDJ lines are from that film. And it would seem that the collosal pile of money it made that many, many people agree.

          1. Some of the best RDJ lines are from that film

            Careful now.  You bout to cross some lines.

      2. I totally thought Iron Man 2 was tedious.  I don’t see the need to make a slow movie which is that obvious, or for that matter an obvious movie which is that slow.

    2. Psst.  Take Downey out of Iron Man and you have nothing.  Replace the director and people would still flock to it.

      1. … except that is was the director’s vision that lead him to fight for Downey to be cast in the film. Without him, there is no Downey as Stark – he wasn’t even on the radar – and Favreau is responsible for shaping the story during the filming and post production into something that people liked watching. The script was good, but it was Favreau that elevated it, not Downey. Downey is a good fit as Stark, but he is not a filmmaker, as we’ll likely see when we watch IM3, on which he’ll have even more creative control than he did on IM2. But the real question is, which one is the chicken and which one is the egg. And I don’t know the answer.

  3. I don’t have an issue with Affleck directing. The real questions is who is writing? As IMO that’s one thing that made whedon’s film enjoyable. In addition, because of WB/DC’s short sighted rejection of creating a universe, they won’t have the buildup to the justice league film that marvel had. Which disappoints me because I was always a dc over marvel guy.

  4. Yeah, this sounds terrible, what are they going to do a 15 minute montage to explain who martian manhunter and Shazam are or will there just be a shit ton of unexplained super people standing around with no explanation….  Also, will Batman have the same towys as ther recent movies?  I assume new actor, but will it be some attempt to tie that story line in?

    This has catoon train wreck written all over it.  I bet $5 it falls aparr

    1. They’d better drop any reference to the Dark Knight trilogy if they go ahead with Justice League. “Gritty realism” suits Batman just fine as long as he’s in a stand-alone vehicle, but throw in super-powered aliens and Amazon queens with a thing for magical ropes and it just starts to look ridiculous.

  5. Which city in the DC universe is Boston, and which DC superhero will have that accent?

    There is most definitely a guy in the Justice League who matches the description of “hammy Boston liberal with vast personal wealth but a working-class attitude”.

  6. Spoiler alert: the Justice League movie will suck. And it won’t be Ben Affleck’s fault. The only way they could make The Avengers work was introducing the main characters first, all in their own movies set in the same world, with the same continuous actors (excepting Ed Norton). 

    This looks like a poor choice for Affleck, actually. We know he can direct well, after The Town. This might set him back, it really might suck that hard.

    1. I don’t think you can actually count this film out just yet. Even if this Justice League film is in no way connected to the Nolan Batman films, the recent Green Lantern and the upcoming Man of Steel, I would venture to say that the ‘origins’ of the big players are well placed in the zeitgeist that it won’t matter. Look at the Justice League cartoon from a few years ago. The first episode managed to setup the initial 7 team (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hawkwoman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern) and still tell a fun story without either being bogged down by the other.

    2. Do you really think everyone that saw and liked the Avengers also saw all 7 or whatever films leading up to it? Doubtful. The Avengers sucked too. It was entertaining on a purely visual level. It had less tension than an episode of Boy Meets World. Speaking of which, they should get Fred Savage to direct the next one.

      1. Based on the comparable box office of the previous five films and plenty of time for home video of each, I would say a high percentage saw most if not all of them before Avengers.  Was it purely enjoyable on a visual level? Sure it was….but that was perfect for an ensemble piece that has already had five films that set it up.

  7. They should just do a live-action version of New Frontier set in the present. Make Starro of the villian instead of The Centre and KA-POW. JLA gets a nice, solid launch.

  8. Why mention Kevin Smith, a has-been if there ever was one? As a director, Affleck is an up-and-comer and could succeed. The Town and Gone Baby Gone are as well-directed as anything anyone else has done in the past few years. Other than Whedon or Nolan, the only other possibility worth mentioning is David O. Russell.

    1. oh man, I would love to see Eddie Izzard in a Justice League Movie. Fuck it, any movie. 

  9. Kevin Smith is extremely overrated. He talks a good game but he’s definitely sub-par. Clerks was good, Mallrats was entertaining but felt very “amateur”. Red State started well with superb tension but then just got silly. I also seem to remember he started working on Green Hornet but dropped out because it was too hard or too much work to do the action sequences. True story, look it up. Anyway i lost all respect for him after that…

  10. Who was Peter Jackson before LOTR?
    What was even Joss’ titular really big stuff before Avengers?

    also Avengers was nothing more than a Michael Bay film
    Action every now and then, female cast always showing arse and boobs loopholes and more explosions

    1. Who was Peter Jackson before LOTR?

      The genius behind Black Sheep*, that’s who. 
      *(The New Zealand comic-horror romp, not the Chris Farley vehicle.)

      1. and the masses, the one hollywood depend on, will say

        because like it or not, that’s how it goes
        Whedon, Jackson
        they were anonymous to most of the people who only knows famous directors already. and being given a big title to someone they aren’t familiar with is something that they weigh in

        but like i said, they were given those movies and still turned out well.. so is affleck that he’s directed movies is mostly unknown but still praised from the people who knew about it

  11. So what exactly is the message, here?  That Affleck doesn’t have enough ‘geek cred’ to make a Justice League movie?  And the justification for this is that Joss Wheedon batted it out of the park on the Avengers and thus any candidate for director simply must have his kind of following/credentials to make a good movie?  


    Some of the greatest geek movies in history were directed by people with no such credentials…and some of the best geek visionaries in the business have made TERRIBLE movies and very unsuccessful movies.  Yes, Joss made Firefly…he also made Titan A.E and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.  Before Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson was the guy who made a movie about drug-addled children’s show puppets having sex and some horror movies.  Before he directed ‘Jaws’, Steven Spielberg’s claim to fame was mostly directing “Marcus Welby” and “Columbo” episodes.

    Geek representation is highly overrated.  Affleck has directed three films so far: two have been nominated for Oscars and the third hasn’t come out, yet, but looks pretty good and certainly suggests some action scenes.  Hell, the main reason Affleck did Daredevil, afaik, is because he was a big fan of the character when he was a kid.  It sounds like Joss Wheedon had one big hit and suddenly we’re supposed to assume that any director with geek cred will be an automatic success?  I’m not buying it.

    1. Hell, the main reason Affleck did Daredevil, afaik, is because he was a big fan of the character when he was a kid.

      Each man kills the thing he loves.

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