Despite earlier reports that Ben Affleck is Warner Bros.' top choice to helm its long-delayed Justice League film, the director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town now flatly states he's not involved with the project. However, even as one rumor is swatted down, another springs up to takes its place.
"I'm not working on the Justice League," he tells Canadian website 24 Hours. "One of the problems with entertainment web sites is that they need to fill pages, and that's how rumors get started. Justice League sounds really exciting, but it's not something I'm working on."
Affleck's name emerged early this month after The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan indicated that, contrary to speculation -- and contrary to comments made last year by Warner Bros. President Jeff Robinov -- he won't have any involvement in either the Batman franchise reboot or the revived Justice League movie.
With Affleck now off the list as well (not a surprise, considering his representatives quickly denied his involvement), Moviehole contends the studio is setting its sights on Lana and Andy Wachowski, sibling writers/directors of the blockbuster Matrix franchise and the far less successful (if perhaps underrated) Speed Racer. The word is that Warner Bros. is excited about Cloud Atlas, the Wachowskis' upcoming adaptation of David Mitchell's centuries-spanning epic adventure.
But as was the case with Affleck, just because the studio is interested doesn't mean the Wachowskis would be. The website notes the duo likes to work at their own pace, which could come into conflict with Warner Bros.' targeted summer 2015 release. There's also a question of how much creative control the directors could have over an ensemble film that will likely serve as a launch pad for solo projects featuring The Flash, Wonder Woman and other superhero properties.
The Wachowskis are no strangers to comic books, having written and produced the adaptation of Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta, and written and directed Speed Racer (which owes more to the frenetic nature of anime than to Tatsuo Yoshida's original manga). Before breaking into the film industry, however, they wrote for Marvel's Razorline imprint and Epic Comics. In 2003, they also founded Burlyman Entertainment, publisher of The Matrix Comics, Shaolin Cowboy and Doc Frankenstein.
We learned in June that Warner Bros. had quietly revived the Justice League movie last year, hiring The Gangster Squad writer Will Beall to tackle a new script. The long-discussed movie was shut down in January 2008, less than a month before it was to begin production, amid the writers strike, concerns about Australian tax incentives and the possibility of an actors strike. George Miller (Mad Max, Babe) was attached to direct from a script by Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows screenwriters Kieran and Michele Mulroney. The ensemble cast included Adam Brody as The Flash, Armie Hammer as Batman, D.J. Cotrona as Superman, Megan Gale as Wonder Woman and Common as Green Lantern.