Usually Movies Blog leaves the duties of philosophizing about the world of comic book movies to our colleagues over at Splash Page, but with the latest word that Warner Bros has approached Ben Affleck about directing "The Justice League," we have felt obligated to voice our concern.
Ben Affleck cannot direct "The Justice League."
Before you jump to conclusions, we need to clarify our objection. Our issues with an Affleck-directed "Justice League" is not steeped in a deeply held respect of the nerdy (which we have). Yes, Affleck's resume as a director does not make him seem like a logical candidate. Sure, we know that Affleck has said he's done with the world of superhero movies. Of course, this announcement from WB seems misguided/laughable/desperate, especially when it comes one day after Marvel announced that Joss Whedon is returning to write and direct "Avengers 2" and to bring about a golden age of geek renaissance. But these aren't our main concerns.
Hollywood desperately needs Affleck to direct anything else but "The Justice League." So far as a director, Affleck has made a very specific kind of movie. "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Town" both dealt with crime in Boston, but they did so intelligently and with a medium-sized budget. These were smart, adult movies that could appeal to wide audience without having to pander to it, and "Argo" looks like it could do the same.
Since both of those moderately budgeted movies made money, Affleck has become Warner Bros go-to for projects like "Gangster Squad," "The Man of Steel," and "The Stand," but he has turned down most of those offers, making a good case for his eventual pass on "Justice League."
But that's also why Affleck needs to stay far, far away from "Justice League." The kind of mainstream movie he makes is too rare for him to go in different direction and get lost behind the special effects. While we would be eager to see what he would do with such a challenge, we'd be much more excited to see what he does instead of "The Justice League."
Where do you stand on the Affleck-"Justice League" issue? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter!