Talk about “coming out of nowhere.” In a move no one (save for the omnipresent) could have foreseen, Variety reports that Warner Bros. are trying to pin down Ben Affleck as the director of their shrouded-in-secrecy Justice League. It’s all very early right now — it’s somewhat indicated he hasn’t even started speaking to WB about the project — with the actor-director first having to read the script by Will Beall (Gangster Squad). Warner Bros. are so confident, though, that he seems to be the only person eyed for a behind-the-camera position right now.
I’d hope a bad script would be enough of a deterrent here — this is not some sort of pre-conceived concern, by the way; just a possibility being thrown out there — though another big stopgap may lie in the chances of League sidelining Affleck for the next few years. If, for instance, The Stand is still happening and something he really wants to do, problems will arise. (And I say that having read their note that, in doing this superhero epic, someone else would possibly take over the Stephen King adaptation.) No matter how much I like the prospects of this one happening, I think it’s best to slap a big “maybe” on the whole prospect. Especially when the potential director doesn’t have too many kind words about the genre.
(This is also worth mentioning: Since Affleck has a strong preference for directing films he performs in, a signed deal could put him in a superhero outfit. The “could” is particularly important, in this instance.)
That’s not the end of the Affleck front for today, however, as Variety have also learned he’s looking toward a starring role in Replay. The time traveling drama — which, last we heard, Greg Berlanti replaced Robert Zemeckis as director on — has been scripted by Jason Smilovic, with the plot stemming from a Ken Grimwood novel.
Here’s a healthy synopsis of said plot:
“43-year-old radio journalist Jeff Winston dies of a heart attack in 1988 and awakens back in 1963 in his 18-year-old body as a student at Atlanta’s Emory University. He then begins to relive his life with intact memories of the next 25 years, until, despite his best efforts at cardiac health, he dies of a heart attack, again, in 1988. He immediately returns to 1963, but several hours later than the last “replay”. This happens repeatedly with different events in each cycle, each time beginning from increasingly later dates (first days, then weeks, then years, then ultimately decades). Jeff soon realizes that he cannot prevent his death in 1988, but he can change the events that occur before it, both for him, and for others.”
The presence of Mr. Life as We Know It is the only big deterrent — and I mean that in a good way. The story sounds clever, I love time travel enough to care, and Affleck could bring humanity to the sort of film that would really need it. Unlike Justice League, this feels like a pretty easy career choice to me.
What are your thoughts on Affleck doing Justice League? How about Replay?