The adaptation of Stephen King‘s “The Stand” (which just got a new writer) and the remake of Guillaume Canet‘s “Tell No One” are just a couple of the projects Ben Affleck has brewing as possibilities to direct after his duties on “Argo” are all locked up. And there’s also “Nathan Decker,” a political comedy that he would star in if he wanted to take a breather from being behind the camera, as well as a Whitey Bulger biopic he would write with Matt Damon and take a role in. But it looks like Warner Bros. not only want to keep him in house, they want to give him the keys to the most important movie in their upcoming slate.
Variety reports that the studio is expected to sit down with the actor/director in the coming days to talk about helming “Justice League.” The keystone project and lynchpin of the DC Comics characters they have the rights to, the movie is one that Warner Bros. has been talking a slow and steady approach with. Affleck is the only person so far that has been sent Will Beall‘s script — which he was hired a year ago to write, but that WB only revealed a couple of months ago — to give a read over. And it’s pretty easy to see why the studio wants him. With Christopher Nolan recently confirming he’ll have nothing to do with “Justice League,” Affleck is pretty much the next studio favorite in line (along with somebody like David Yates) that could be trusted with the franchise. He’s proven that he can make pictures that are both critically applauded and commercially appealing, and that he can do action in addition to drama. This could be a big next step in his directorial career.
But, as usual, he’s got options. He’s been offered a role in “Replay,” a sci-fi thriller he was once eyeing to direct himself, that will now be helmed by Greg Berlanti (“Life As We Know It“). But perhaps most crucially, with the movie not expected until 2015, and rumored to be tying into Zack Snyder‘s “Man Of Steel” in some capacity, this job, which will see Affleck developing and directing, could take him away from other projects for quite some time, though he might be able to knock out some acting gigs here and there.
But overall, the selection makes it clear that WB seems to be sticking to their plan of delivering grittier, more Earth-bound superheroes, if only because Affleck isn’t the kind of guy you want if you’re expecting a Joss Whedon-style adventure. And we’d guess that as these things usually go, this is only the tip of the iceberg, as more names will be shortlisted as Affleck and the studio consider their options. We’ll see. But does Affleck seem like the right choice to you? Weigh in below.