Yesterday afternoon, Variety reported the surprising idea that Warner Bros. is looking at Ben Affleck as a choice to helm its long-proposed Justice League movie. Hours later, Deadline literally called “bullsh*t” on the news, claiming that Affleck’s people have been denying the notion all week. The actor/director does seem an odd choice for a project that would involve the team-up of such mythic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and maybe Aquaman among other prominent DC Comics heroes. But maybe his latest, Argo, has the studio seeing something in him that I’m not.
Sure, Affleck did play Superman once, sort of, when he portrayed George Reeves in Hollywoodland. Still, his directorial efforts have been a little harder and darker than a Justice League film should be. Maybe I’m naive to believe that such a mix of iconic superheroes deserves something light, colorful, family friendly and idealistic, overall a comforting blend of hope, faith and justice. Has it been too long since I paid attention to this ensemble? Am I thinking too much of Super Friends? Regardless, there’s definitely a certain tone that Justice League should have in order to properly reach a wide, general audience, and I don’t think Christopher Nolan’s grittier, realistic approach to the Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel comes close to that.
But I’ve been driving myself nuts today attempting to figure a proper filmmaker for the tone I picture for the property. It can’t be cynical or violent or cheesy or cheeky or too dumb or too witty or too PG or too PG-13. I kind of want to throw a bunch of directors into a blender and get something that’s a mix of Raja Gosnell, George Clooney, Gary Ross and Michael Bay or Peter Berg. Or just a clone of Joss Whedon or a Pixar director who wouldn’t mind defecting (it’s time to see Pete Docter do live action, right?) or original choice, George Miller. How about someone old fashioned like Randall Wallace or Clint Eastwood or someone dependable with a franchise like David Yates or someone young and fresh like the appropriately named (it worked for Marc Webb) Zal Batmanglij?
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