Reply: If Not Affleck, Who Can Direct a Great 'Justice League' Movie?

August 15, 2012

Justice League

Here we are, at the end of the 2012 summer. Chris Nolan has finished his epic Batman trilogy. Joss Whedon brought together Marvel's heroes for an assembly of Avengers. Zack Snyder is hard at work finishing up his Man of Steel reboot of Superman. So what's next? Justice League. After the incredible worldwide success of The Avengers, we knew Warner Bros and DC Comics would push for a Justice League movie sooner than later, and have already commissioned a new script that's being sent around to prospective directors. Ben Affleck, director of The Town and Argo for WB, was one of the first they sent it to. But who else? Who, realistically, could (or should) direct a great Justice League movie? We want to know what everyone thinks!

Ever since the news broke last week that Affleck was being sent the script, we haven't heard a word from Warner Bros. And I doubt we will for a while, at least until they find a director that is an actual possibility, since many seemed hesitant about Affleck's interests anyway. But if he passes on Justice League, and they keep looking, who else should they be looking at? While we don't know what kind of movie it will be, if it's going to start a new franchise like Avengers or give us a solo story of an already-formed Justice League, there's quite a few talented filmmakers out there who could do something outstanding no matter what. So who are they? In this latest Reply question from, we went to twitter to get some initial suggestions.

The question I posed on twitter this time: "Do you think Ben Affleck could direct a good Justice League movie? If not him, who else realistically instead?" Realistically because there's no need to say Chris Nolan or Steven Speilberg, though I would love to see either of them direct it. Up first are those who like Affleck.

Those Who Want to See Affleck Direct:

Ben Affleck

There were a good amount of replies suggesting other strong choices if not Affleck. Here's where we get into some dream names like Alfonso Cuaron as well as more realistic picks like David Yates of Harry Potter.

Other Replies and Various Director Picks:

Two names that kept coming up repeatedly were Brad Bird, of The Incredibles, Ratatouille and recently M:I Ghost Protocol, plus Duncan Jones, of Moon and Source Code. Both of these guys are awesome and both were mentioned many times. Here's our collection of tweet responses including Brad Bird or Duncan:

Top Picks - Brad Bird and/or Duncan Jones:

Brad Bird / Duncan Jones

This last one brings up another great choice: Neill Blomkamp, but I don't think he'd be up for it. There was also mention of Josh Trank of Chronicle (via @paulnolansound) who I think is a director to watch grow, but we'll have to see if he works on Fantastic Four and how that turns out first. Lastly, one final tweet that I just have to include because, while he doesn't name any directors, I totally love the idea he mentions:

Now that would be something. A Bad Robot-produced take on DC Comics' Justice League? If only. I guess we can dream. I was trying to keep a more grounded, realistic focus with this discussion, but obviously there are too many dream picks. From Spielberg to Cuarón to Blomkamp, or even Weir or Aronofsky or del Toro. But realistically, I'd love to see someone like Brad Bird or Duncan Jones or Josh Trank or even Marc Webb as some of the top directors for this. Warner Bros has a lot of potential with Justice League and they better be ready to go all out, like Avengers, and find the perfect person to take the reigns, like Joss Whedon.

Thanks for checking out our new series Reply, where we open up a discussion based on a quick question. You can always follow @firstshowing to reply next time, or follow-up with your own thoughts on the in-the-works Justice League below. Our first Reply was about Man of Steel, the second about favorite TDKR moments, the third about The Hobbit's third movie. We hope to continue this series with more riveting, engaging, fascinating questions in the near future. See you on twitter! Who do you think should direct?

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  • BG
    Richard Donner. Duh.
  • Big Boss
    In my opinion, WB should've given the Batman reboot Affleck for 2015. For two reasons: Affleck's direction and vision would've preserved Batman's grittiness and a new perspective, AND he's best friends with Kevin Smith! With Ben's direction and Smith's comicbook mythos knowledge, JL would definitely have a great start.
    • I'm pretty sure there's been no news of this supposed 2015 Batman reboot.
      • Big Boss
        Um, yes there has. Check Ain't it Cool and Geek Tyrant.
    • David Banner
      Affleck want's to star in all movies he directs, do you see Affleck(DareDevil) as Batman? And on the friendship with Kevin part? Hm, well i lissten to Kevin's podcasts each week, seems the waters are lukewarm
      • Big Boss
        I see your point. After DD, I can't see Affleck's "butt-chin" in a black cowl. lol. And I usually don't keep up with Kev's podcasts, but I did hear his stance on doing a comicbook movie after his "Superman Lives" debacle. Still, wishful
  • darrin
    gus van sant
  • I don't know if Duncan Jones can handle a big superhero team up like that. Brad Bird is an interesting choice, since he can balance the action with the character moments pretty decently.
  • Q_Q
    Nicolas Winding Refn
  • The Flowers of War
    Alfonso Cuaron or maybe Paul Thomas Anderson!
  • Zade_92
    In my opinion i really think the justice league movie shouldnt be made unless reboots of both batman and superman happen because i think theway that Nolan set up their worlds doesnt allow there to be other heroes
  • kevin smith.. because he's like the joss whedon for DC. or David fincher just cause he's awesome
    • bozo connors
      Don't know if he'd do it - but I'd LOVE to see Kevin tackle something like this. He's quite the Batman fanatic I understand.
      • Manuel
        Probably he will make a presentation about the Justice League movie that hi didn't make.
  • Chip_Tha_Ripper
    micheal bay. hahahahahahahahaha. But really no. peter jackson or niel (whatever/however you spell his last name) that did District 9 or zack snyder
  • Cody W
    JJ Abrams, just less lens flare and itd be solid
    • Manuel
      JJ ftw
  • Jericho
    BAD ROBOT!!!!!!!
  • just tossing it out there.....but what about Paul W.S. Anderson??
  • Lonestar1179
    To have a good director for the Justice League I believe it needs to be someone with the same darkness as Chris Nolan, but it will need to show the strength of each character involved. Joss Whedon did an excellent job with the Avengers. He should exactly what he could with the amount of time given to him to do it in. As far as the Justice League it needs to be dark and not to comic bookie. I think Guillermo del toro might be a good option.
  • Hazedmind
    Joe Cornish dosen't have any projects lined up i don't think or even Zack Snider would be cool cause hes doing Superman
    Steve Soderbergh. He is great at ensembles.
  • dgeet
    Duncan Jones?
  • I think a good argument could be made for several: J.J. Abrams is great at incorporating action, tense story line, and character. James Cameron would be a good choice for his ability to use CGI and he has a winning track record (Although I don't think he'd ever do a comic book film unfortunately). Michael Mann is the king of character development. Again, I'm sure he wouldn't take on such a project. Alfonso Cuaron makes good looking movies, and ones that I've become intensely sucked in to. Another possibility. But I saw a suggestion earlier in a Tweet I thought was great: David Yates. He's become impressive. However, ultimately you must have someone who is incredibly passionate about comic books. Out of those people, I'm not exactly sure who that would be. In the end, I don't know how bad of a pick Affleck truly is. He may be the best choice based on his exposure to action films as an actor, and his growing sense of presence as a director. We'll see I guess.
  • FilmFlo
    Joe Carnahan
  • drberd
    i would have to say zack synder as the director because of watchmen (good director but not a writer) and i dont know who the writer would be or collaboration of writers would be but they would have to have expierence with writing for the animated show or be able to mimic that and improve upon it greatly without making it cheesy and chliche
  • Sion Sono
  • nem
    Uwe Boll.
  • finn
    Brian Singer
  • Rain Spider
    Wes Anderson!!!!! Seriously tho, I like the idea of Winding Refn. I think he could bring along Gosling and he could play a great replacement Batman for Bale.
  • Manuel
    Probably I'd like to see what Zack Snyder or JJ. Abrams can do with the JLA movie.
  • David Banner
    I have no idea what JL(A) does, do they only fight giant robots? So it's a bit hard to think of a director for this. I would give all the characters their own film first, so people can get to know them first? Don't rush it.
  • kash
    lol did somebody say John Mctierran...he is a relic
  • jtom
    rain johnson??? can handle the darker character elements (brick)...little comic moments (brothers bloom) and if looper can show off great action scenes I think he would be a good pick
  • Jack
    Probably Joss Whedon, If you can succsessfully do 1 all star superhero team up film, you can theoretically do another




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