The internet is a buzz with the name being floated as a possible director for Warner Bros. possible Justice League movie and we are decidedly not pleased…
Ben Affleck. Yes, the man without [a] fear of ruining Daredevil and he who also once played Superman (sorta) may be DC’s answer to Joss Whedon (and isn’t it funny that this little crumb of information slipped out of someone’s pocket the day after the Whedon/Avengers 2 news broke?) for their answer to The Avengers.
As of right now absolutely nothing is known aside from Variety’s report that Affleck was sent a copy of Will Beall’s (Castle, Gangster Squad) script. We don’t know a release date (though 2015 keeps being carelessly and hopefully whispered) and we don’t know if this will launch (or re-launch) some of these characters like George Miller‘s abandoned Justice League project was going to do, or if Warner Bros. will do it the Marvel way and try to build up to it. Something that would take them forever. With that said and absent the oppressive maw of facts and concrete information beyond that, we are now goona speculate like mad!
Affleck! Yelled an ornery duck. Affleck? Yeah, actor/directors Favreau and Branagh did it, and Whedon played Numfar and a rental clerk on a V-Mars episode (I miss you Neptune, CA) so I guess you can throw him in that lot too, but Affleck?!? Yeah, yeah, he is an Oscar winning screenwriter and The Town and Gone Baby Gone are solid crime dramas — save for him casting his brother in the latter — but still, is this really going to inspire faith amongst DC fanboys? Are fingers going to stand back from lighting message boards on fire when The Hall of Justice is in Southie and Casey Affleck is playing Booster Gold? Our own Jeremy R! Hudson just wiki’d how to fashion a noose because of that very sentence.
Alright, enough free shots. Initially, my true reservations about Affleck come from his lack of experience with big projects. Sure, Favreau’s Zathura was cosmic crap but it did feature ample CG and Branagh directed Frankenstein and some massive Shakespearean ensemble pieces prior to Thor. Whedon? For it’s budget, Serenity was quite epic as were all of his TV shows, and the guy had been a script Doctor on some major projects previously.
With all of that said though, Nolan didn’t have that kind of experience either and here is what leads to my biggest concern about this possible choice: Affleck isn’t him. You know, the guy who refuses to have a hand in the Justice League movie? Yeah, Affleck doesn’t have the same kind of guts, imagination, or cache to use those first two things that Nolan had then and certainly has now — or at least he hasn’t shown them as of yet.
In short, I knew Nolan wasn’t an option, but I wanted someone big, something bold from Warner Brothers here. Give me del Toro, give me Blomkamp. Shit, even Snyder was somewhat daring for Man of Steel. Affleck? He’s a guy who can maybe replicate a reality based world, but would he be able to do much with the characters that he inhabits it with? People forget that the brilliance of Nolan’s movies wasn’t merely the neo-realistic feel and “the world”, it’s that he made us believe in the Bat Man and that such a character could be real and fit into that world. I don’t think Affleck has that vision or skill and to me you need that or something else on a grand, imaginative scale to best the popcorn spectacle of The Avengers — you need a visionary, and Affleck ain’t that.