The runaway success of “The Avengers” has given rival Warner Bros. serious spandex envy. Its DC Comics superheroes are icons: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman. If Disney can rake in half a billion with Thor and Iron Man, two relative unknowns by comparison, there’s no telling what a good Justice League of America movie could do.
Variety reports WB is talking to Ben Affleck about directing this potential tentpole flick. Affleck likes to act in the movies he directs, so this raises the possibility of a return to superheroics for him. He starred in Fox’s “Daredevil,” although that’s not really a point in his favor. That movie was so unsuccessful Fox is doing a complete reboot.
It’s Affleck’s track record as a director that serves him well here. “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town” did well enough that he’s become a trusted director. Justice League is a make-or-break project and not one the studio would likely hand to an unknown.
Warner knows better than most that superhero films aren’t easy. Before Christopher Nolan reinvigorated Batman, that franchise was in a state of disarray. Ryan Reynolds turn as Green Lantern was underwhelming. Attempts to revive Superman on the big screen have stalled as well. Up next, Henry Cavill in 2013’s “Man of Steel.”
Marvel built up its film universe one movie at a time, slowly establishing that each hero was part of a bigger canvas. That doesn’t mean this is the only way a Justice League movie could happen, but it’s hard to argue with the end result of “The Avengers.”