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Ben Affleck Already May Have Passed On Justice League

Only days after casting doubt on a reported character-rights swap between Fox and Marvel, Deadline is calling “bullshit” on Variety’s claim that Warner Bros. is pursuing Ben Affleck to direct its long-delayed Justice League movie.

Saying he was told days earlier by Affleck’s representatives that the Daredevil star won’t be helming the superhero film, Deadline’s Mike Fleming acknowledges “it makes sense that Warner Bros. would offer Affleck the project.” That’s because, with Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the upcoming Argo to his credit, Affleck has become one of the studio’s go-to directors, third in line for projects after Christopher Nolan and David Yates.

“Just because the studio wants Affleck doesn’t mean he will do the movie,” Fleming writes, “and several sources tell me he might take a meeting, but that’s it.”

Affleck, who shares an Academy Award with Matt Damon for the screenplay to 1997’s Good Will Hunting, saw his acting career take a nosedive following roles in Daredevil, Gigli, Surviving Christmas and Jersey Girl. But with the 2007 crime drama Gone Baby Gone, Affleck established himself as a formidable director and screenwriter.

With Nolan stating definitively that he won’t be involved with the Batman franchise reboot or Justice League, Warner Bros. is eager to find a director to find a director for the ensemble film. The studio quietly hired a screenwriter last spring, marking the first visible sign of progress on the project since George Miller’s version was shut down in January 2008, a month before it was to begin filming.

A Justice League film likely wouldn’t arrive in theaters until 2015, pitting it up against the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers sequel.


  • Demoncat4

    short of getting Nolan to do the film or poaching joss if warner’s wants Justice Leaque to do Avengers box office. they need to sign some one who could use the avengers formula . and will respect the source material. ben does not seem the super hero film type plus he would proably have Matt damon as bats and his wife as wonder woman which Jen would be cool as.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    Pshyeah, WB you totally want your JLA movie coming out at the same time as Avengers 2 where it won’t resemble anything like being seen as completely derivative of The Avengers. :eyeroll:

  • jrau18

    Because he cast both Damon and Garner in the other films he’s directed.

  • thesnappysneezer

     Matt Damon would make a great Aquaman

  • Red Head Redemption

    WB should get Brad Bird to direct Justice League.

    He did a cool cgi animated superhero movie with The Incredibles as well as the widely well received animated The Iron Giant. The action in Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol wasn’t too shabby and a lot of fun.
    Couple that with a quality story filled with cool action and adventure, and his big-screen Justice League could be great.

    I just think due to Affleck’s past statements on working on comic based films post-Daredevil that he won’t take the gig. Even though he also took a meeting on directing Man Of Steel, he still turned that one down after Christopher Nolan offered it to him.
    Thinking this isn’t what Affleck’s looking to do. He’s more into smaller character driven films like The Town than something like Justice League.

  • Drew_Melbourne

    Everyone seems to have forgotten that Affleck was offered & passed on the Superman movie in 2010. He’s clearly not going to do the Justice League movie either.

  • darthtigris

    So what I’ve learned this week is that Variety serves ‘em up and Deadline knocks them down.

  • Softie

    i think he’s probably just laying low as he rebuilds his career from the ground up after seeming to crash so hard a few years ago! Damon would be a good Aquaman! and Electra a good wonder woman! oh well! and they could have had Kevin Smith as Gorilla Grodd! Darnit!

  • Flashpoint

    That Deadline report trashing Variety’s original article was written by Mike Fleming (*not* Deadline founder Nikki Finke). If you check Fleming’s bio on Deadline Hollywood, you learn that Fleming’s own gossip column at Variety was canned and thus he ended up working at Deadline. The man apparently would have good reason to take potshots at Variety on Nikki’s behalf.

    Particularly after Nikki’s good friend Jeff Robinov cut her out of the loop on this story. Finke has a well-documented history of doing this with sources in Hollywood she calls good friends when they don’t include her in the hottest gossip. Just ask Universal’s Ron Meyer who has publicly stated he’s friends with Finke and has detailed that she sometimes has blown up even at him when she felt she has been cut off and her trust betrayed solely because she didn’t get an exclusive.

    Finke’s notorious blow-ups at even those she calls friends is a matter of public record which any cursory search on Google will reveal. At least this time she had the smarts to assign a retaliatory hatchet job to one of her flunkies instead of risking burning her bridges with Robinov by personally slamming Variety’s scoop herself.
    Lastly, Variety noted WB sent the script to Affleck, he read it and now is meeting with them. And as Bleeding Cool noted, Deadline concurred with those facts. It’s not over (yet) despite the naysayers who have jumped to a lot of conclusions without bothering to pay attention to all of the facts–including Kevin Melrose who should have done his homework before posting this piece.

  • Majikp3

    Affleck is a moron!! He shouldn’t even direct a kindergarten play.

  • cjorg2

    Pot calling kettle black