Ben Affleck Already May Have Passed On <i>Justice League</i>

Only days after casting doubt on a reported character-rights swap between Fox and Marvel, Deadline is calling "bullshit" on Variety's claim that Warner Bros. is pursuing Ben Affleck to direct its long-delayed Justice League movie.

Saying he was told days earlier by Affleck's representatives that the Daredevil star won't be helming the superhero film, Deadline's Mike Fleming acknowledges "it makes sense that Warner Bros. would offer Affleck the project." That's because, with Gone Baby Gone, The Town and the upcoming Argo to his credit, Affleck has become one of the studio's go-to directors, third in line for projects after Christopher Nolan and David Yates.

"Just because the studio wants Affleck doesn’t mean he will do the movie," Fleming writes, "and several sources tell me he might take a meeting, but that’s it."

Affleck, who shares an Academy Award with Matt Damon for the screenplay to 1997's Good Will Hunting, saw his acting career take a nosedive following roles in Daredevil, Gigli, Surviving Christmas and Jersey Girl. But with the 2007 crime drama Gone Baby Gone, Affleck established himself as a formidable director and screenwriter.

With Nolan stating definitively that he won't be involved with the Batman franchise reboot or Justice League, Warner Bros. is eager to find a director to find a director for the ensemble film. The studio quietly hired a screenwriter last spring, marking the first visible sign of progress on the project since George Miller's version was shut down in January 2008, a month before it was to begin filming.

A Justice League film likely wouldn't arrive in theaters until 2015, pitting it up against the Joss Whedon-directed Avengers sequel.

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