Superhero movies have never been more in vogue. So it is no surprise that studios are now looking at more ways to squeeze the cash out of these iconic characters. Indeed, Marvel did so quite majestically, by crafting together several different movies, which then climaxed with The Avengers, which grossed over $1 billion.
Fresh off the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, Warner Bros. are looking to follow suit by bringing the Justice League to life. For those of you who do not know, the Justice league takes place in a world shared by such iconic heros as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern.
But while the world of Marvel is often colorful, Warner Bros., and more specifically Christopher Nolan, have darkened the DC Comics universe, meaning it would take an incredibly skilled director to pull off such a frankly implausible premise.
After Christopher Nolan insisted that he would never even consider directing such a project, Warner Bros have been quick to move for Hollywood’s favorite prodigal son Ben Affleck.
The rumor is that Affleck is willing to talk about the possibility of directing, but is unusually picky about his projects since his career redemption. And, Affleck is right to be cautious about getting tangled up in that much spandex.
In fact, the only time the subject matter has ever been successfully adapted to the screen was a campy 1979 TV special featuring Adam West as Batman.
Other attempts include an uncommissioned TV pilot in 1997 (Editor’s Note: it’s BAD!) and a failed feature film which was going to be directed by Mad Max’s George Miller in 2008. The Miller film was intended to be shot entirely in motion capture with a budget rumored to be $250 million, but was thwarted by a poor script and the writer’s strike. Interestingly, The Social Network’s Armie Hammer was set to play Batman and even completed pre-production on the film, before the plug was sadly pulled.
While Affleck has never directed a film of this magnitude before, he has impressed with his first two features Gone Baby Gone and The Town. I actually thought the latter movie was unwatchable, but while my opinion doesn’t count for much, Warner Bros’s certainly does, and they must have been impressed with the director forthcoming war film Argo which they are producing.
But, it is of course worth mentioning that one of the films that helped Affleck claw back his credibility after the ‘Bennifer’ debacle was in fact playing George Reeves aka Superman in Hollywood Land. And, if Ben is at all a student of irony he may be well advised to stay away from that particular character.